OC trauma surgeons and medical professionals wear orange to protest gun violence

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Trauma surgeons, nurses and other medical workers at UC Irvine Health wear orange t-shirts and caps as part of “National Gun Violence Awareness Day.”

“No one is immune to gun violence,” said Dr Theresa Chin. “We wear orange because that’s what hunters wear when out in the woods to protect themselves and others. Today we want to remember those who have been injured or killed by the armed violence.”

Health workers have drawn attention to the fact that firearms have overtaken car accidents as the leading cause of death among children aged 0-19. Medical staff at UC Irvine Health, a Level 1 trauma center in Orange County, treated 145 gunshot victims in 2021.

“We as trauma surgeons and clinicians in medical care see patients at their worst,” Chin said. “When it’s something that can be easily avoided… It’s important to raise awareness.”

The protest comes just days after a gunman shot and killed four people at a clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and more than a week after 19 children and two teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas .

“We came into medicine wanting to help people, and we do our best,” said Dr. Victor Joe. “That’s very sad to hear.”

Dr. Claire Sakae, an intensive care fellow, brought her children to the rally. She said she was proud to be able to make an impact and help save victims.

“I hope one day I can save someone else’s children,” Sakae said.

They said that while there are no easy solutions to gun violence, doctors are pushing for gun safety education and mental health awareness. They advise everyone to check in, focus on each other, and show kindness as well as grace.

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