TODAY   |  September 17, 2013

DC doctor: I don’t want be an expert on gunshots

Dr. Janis Orlowski, Chief Medical Officer at Medstar Washington Hospital Center, tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer that saying she hopes her trauma center goes out of business was a spontaneous moment that has garnered a lot of attention online.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> she is the chief medical officer at med star washington center. during a news conference, she made an impassioned plea to end gun violence . doctor, good morning, good to see you.

>> good morning, matt. how are you today?

>> i'm doing well. i want to talk about your comments in a second but i want an update on some of the patients you treated. first of all, you had a police officer there with severe leg wounds. i know he has been through surgery. what is his prognosis?

>> his prognosis is good. i would tell you that his condition today is fair. i've had a chance to see him. he is doing well, as expected, he is having pain around the lower legs. but in general, he is doing very well. i will tell you his spirits are excellent.

>> there were two other patients brought to you. one was shot in the shoulder. the other was shot in the head and miraculously the bullet did not penetrate her skull. where exactly was she shot and how is she doing?

>> my understanding or at least what you can tell is she was shot in the finger and then right behind her right ear. so the bullet went into her scalp at that point, you can actually see a little bit of a divet and it did not enter the skull. she is doing well and anxious about her colleagues. they have not been clear as to how everyone is doing. so i would say that's her greatest concern today and quite frankly her greatest concern is to be able to go home with her family.

>> i want to ask you about come menlts you made during that press conference. you said something is wrong in this country. there's something evil in our society that we as americans have to work to try and eradicate. you went on and said we have to work together to get rid of it. i'd like you to put my trauma center out of business. i would like not to be an expert on gunshots. did you step in front of the cameras planning to say that or was it spontaneous?

>> it was a completely spontaneous comment. one of the reporters asked me, i know that medstar deals with a lot of gunshot victims. she said is there something different about this. my first thought was no, there's nothing different. it's terrible, it's horrific. it's a senseless injury that we deal with and as i spoke to the camera, i have to say it was direct from my heart and i meant every word of it and i must have poked the underbelly because have gotten quite a few comments and phone calls and e-mails and tweets about it and i -- it wasn't planned. it wasn't something that i had intended to say.

>> and you said you didn't want to wade into the issue of gun control and yet your comments are resinating with people and we also heard emotional comments after newtown and aurora. are you worried your comments will be forgotten.

>> yes.

>> most importantly, take care of the people that are victims of the shooting, doctor.

>> absolutely, we will. and i also want to say my sympathies to those who are not going to be with their families and my sympathy to the families who will have to deal with the death of loved ones. thank you.

>> doctor, thanks. a lot of