University Hospital sees rise in child gunshot victims, motorcycle injuries

Hospital to release full trauma report on Tuesday

SAN ANTONIO – One of San Antonio's level I trauma centers said the city has encountered a rise in child gunshot victims and motorcyclist injuries.

University Hospital released its full community trauma report Tuesday that details trends in serious injuries in Bexar County and South Texas.

The hospital generates the report based on information gathered from thousands of patients.

University Hospital highlighted three major findings from the report:

  • University Hospital has seen an increase in gunshot victims 16 and younger. According to the report, the number of children "deliberately shot with firearms and treated at University Hospital was significantly higher in 2016 and 2017 than in the previous three years."
  • The number of adults 17 and older injured on motorcycles increased in 2016 and 2017 despite a decline from 2012 to 2015.
  • The leading cause of serious injuries in child patients at University Hospital was car crashes. Falls were the leading cause in adults.

University Hospital is one of two local hospitals with the designation of level I trauma center for adults and is the only level I pediatric trauma center and burn program in South Texas.

University Hospital, which is funded by taxpayers, partners with the county's other level I trauma center, Brook Army Medical Center. 

The civilian-military hospital partnership is the only partnership of its kind in the county.

County Judge Nelson Wolff and staff from both hospitals spoke about the civilian-military partnership and the possible impact of another hospital being awarded a higher trauma designation.

Methodist Hospital expressed interest in seeking a level II trauma designation, but Wolff and county commissioners said the move would threaten national security and the economic future of the city.

MORE: Commissioners Court: SA private hospitals adding trauma centers affect national security, economy

On Tuesday, Methodist Healthcare System spokeswoman Palmira Arellano sent KSAT 12 the following statement regarding Methodist's interest in seeking a level II trauma designation.

Methodist Healthcare has met with top BAMC officials twice to discuss trauma care in South Texas. 

As the largest health system in the region, Methodist Healthcare is investigating the need for more trauma care due to the dynamic population growth over the last several years within our region as well as the unfortunate potential need for more trauma care and broader trauma care coverage in the event of a natural disaster or other mass tragedy. What we do know is that studies have shown, and recent tragedies have demonstrated, that trauma patients have a better chance of surviving when they are able to get trauma care with the Golden Hour.
Methodist Healthcare has great respect and regard for BAMCs mission, and we share their passion for providing the best possible care to the communities we serve.