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Hospital Shootings Rare, But Preparedness Still Warranted

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 24, 2012

Your chances of being struck by lightning are greater than your chances of being shot in a hospital.

That doesn't means you should dance in a cornfield in the middle of a thunderstorm. Nor does it mean your hospital's patients, visitors, or staff should take cover and comfort behind long odds and the laws of probability.

The report from four researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, published this month in the Annals of Emergency Medicine online, examined 11-years of data on 154 hospital shootings that resulted in 235 dead or injured.

The data showed that 30% of the shootings at acute-care hospitals occurred in the emergency department, and 50% involved the firearm of a police or security officer which was either used by security to fire at a suspect or stolen from the officers to shoot victims. The study notes that no hospital is immune from shootings. Zero risk is not attainable.

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