ER docs don't ask half of suicidal patients about gun access

Despite national guidelines, emergency doctors only ask about half of suicidal patients if they have access to firearms, according to a study published in Depression and Anxiety. Researchers, led by Emmy Betz, M.D., of University of Colorado School of Medicine, interviewed more than 1,350 emergency department patients who had either attempted or considered suicide. While ED doctors are urged to question suicidal patients on whether they have the means to attempt suicide, researchers found documentation indicating the patient was asked in only about half of cases. "Based on models using national suicide statistics, ED-based interventions might help decrease suicide deaths by 20 percent annually," the study states. Study abstract