Intentional firearm injuries on the rise in Alaska

  • Saturday, March 4, 2017 9:32pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE (AP) — There has been a significant increase in the number of intentional firearm injuries in recent years, marking a shift from when accidental shootings were more common in Alaska, state officials said.

Dr. Frank Sacco, chairman of the Alaska Trauma System Review Committee, said the number of intentional firearm injuries has nearly doubled in the last three or four years. He said those injuries have become more common than accidental and self-inflicted gunshot wounds, KTUU-TV reported.

The spike in intentional firearm injuries grew faster in Anchorage than the rest of the state, Sacco said.

“If you just look at the trauma registry data where before we might in Anchorage admit to the hospital intentional gunshot wounds every month or two. Now it’s closer to about every week,” he said.

For nearly 30 years, the Alaska Trauma Registry has documented how and where residents are injured and how they are treated. The data helps medical professionals determine where resources are needed to care for patients, Sacco said.

There was a 78 percent increase in total firearm hospitalizations in Anchorage from 2013 to 2015, according to the registry. With stabbings included, penetrating injuries accounted for an average 10 percent of all hospitalizations per year.

“The causes for these traumas have to do with society, and like I said there’s a lot of guns up here and a lot of drugs unfortunately — and that is not a recipe that’s good for good outcomes,” Sacco said.

More in News

Copies of the Peninsula Clarion are photographed on Friday, June 21, 2024. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Announcing a new Peninsula Clarion print schedule

Our last Wednesday edition will be delivered June 26.

A bucket of recently caught sockeye salmon rests on the sand while anglers seek to fill it further at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetting in Kasilof opens Tuesday

Dipnetting will be allowed at all times until Aug. 7

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game restricts bait on Kasilof, Ninilchik Rivers

The use of bait on the rivers will begin Friday and extend to July 15 in Ninilchik, July 31 in Kasilof

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bag limits doubled for sockeye salmon in Resurrection Bay

The increase is effective from June 21 to July 31

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School on Thursday, April 18.
Caring for the Kenai winners receive EPA award

Winning team of the 34th annual Caring for the Kenai was selected for the President’s Environmental Youth Award

Norm Blakely speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves resolution guiding efforts to increase voter turnout

The Voter Turnout Working Group was established to explore options and ideas aimed at increasing voter participation

Most Read