Doc calculates average shooting victim cost at $540K

June 5, 2013 (MAYWOOD, Ill.)

A doctor at a suburban hospital has been adding it up. Just inside the entrance to Loyola's emergency room, you'll find a price list. Talk to the doctors and you'll learn the true cost.

Dr. Tom Esposito is Loyola's chief of trauma. In his spare time, he crunches numbers. The results are as startling as a heart attack.

The average cost to treat one gunshot victim at Loyola: $540,447. A stabbing victim: $245,652. And most violence victims are un-insured.

"These are reflected every April 15th when you pay your taxes into all these social and medical services that are supported by the government," Esposito said.

Loyola reports ER visits have more than doubled in the last 15 years. They're seeing more gunshot victims and drug overdoses.

"A couple of weeks ago a car pulled up at 10 in the morning and there were shooting victims in it. Later in the day, another car pulled up with heroin overdose victims in it," said DR. Mark Cichon, Loyola Emergency Medicine Dept. chairman.

"The City of Chicago continues to do an excellent job of pushing crime out. They're pushing it to the near west suburbs," said Chief Tom Weitzel, Riverside Police Department.

And that means extra costs for suburban police departments, not to mention an impact on residents' quality of life. It's the cost of crime in one community.

"We're talking about the gross national product of some small countries just going into healthcare of what we feel are preventable conditions. We all pay for this," Esposito said.

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