ER Doctor vigilant in push for gun safety

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Dr. Gail D’Onofrio and other health care providers are part of the front line when gun violence erupts in the New Haven area.

“If there is gun violence, we are the first people who see it,” said D’Onofrio, Chief of Emergency Services at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

When a shooting does happen, there is no guarantee that the victim will make it.

“It is using a device that there is no turning back on. We can only do what we can when we get the victim and it’s often too late,” said D’Onofrio.

Damage to the human body is often too much. It’s a grisly reality, and an American epidemic.

“It’s everyday. It’s not just these mass casualties. Every single day hundreds of people are involved in gun violence and often young children,” said D’Onofrio.

They watch the carnage unfold across the country in places like Orlando.

“Most of us don’t sleep through that event either, we are news junkies. We are talking to colleagues, we are living it,” said D’Onofro.

They also understand what health care providers and first responders face.

Yale-New Haven hospital received some of the first calls during the Sandy Hook shootings.

“Then we got the word that there were no survivors and that was even more traumatic because there wasn’t anything we could do. We were just standing by to received injured and nobody came,” said D’Onofrio.

For D’Onofrio, who has to repair damage done by others, she is vigilant in her push for prevention and gun safety.

“I don’t think you will find any emergency physician or trauma surgeon that’s not on the front lines trying to advocate for gun safety,” said D’Onofrio.