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Letters: Metal detectors in hospitals work

February 06, 2013

Re "Hospitals shedding metal detectors," Feb. 3

I well remember the 1993 shooting of emergency room physician Richard May at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. I was the trauma anesthesiologist and staff physician on duty that day who took care of May.

With an armed L.A. County sheriff's deputy escort, I took him unconscious and intubated from the ER to his CT scan, provided anesthesia in the operating room and finally delivered him to the neurological intensive care unit.

I was there, months later, when he suddenly emerged from a coma, causing one neurosurgeon to say, "Now I believe in miracles."

It will truly be a miracle if the hospital escapes another shooting after the administration removes the metal detectors from the public entrance. Gun violence is endemic to Los Angeles. Keep the metal detectors and save a few more lives.

William Loskota, MD

Los Angeles

With the shooting last month of a physician in his own Newport Beach exam room, I was reminded of the killing many years ago of our director of nurses by an employee who was terminated.

I also remember a patient who dropped her bag in the waiting room of our emergency department (not a county hospital), at which time a loaded gun fell out of her purse.

I can sympathize with the two physicians who were wounded at L.A. County hospital. The metal detectors would give me peace of mind as a patient or as a treating physician.

Harry Shragg, MD



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