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July 17, 1996

Clinicians' Documentation of Gunshot Wounds

Author Affiliations

University of Miami Miami, Fla

JAMA. 1996;276(3):198. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540030032026

To the Editor.  —A Medical News & Perspectives article by Ms Voelker entitled "New Program Targets Death Investigator Training"1 has some inaccurate information concerning the presentation by Dr Fackler. The article states that Fackler reported "that clinicians inadequately documented the location in 38% of the wounds, size in 4%, and shape in 3%." My recollection of this presentation is that Fackler reported "that clinicians adequately document the location in 38%, size in 4%, and shape in 3%."This is an extremely significant error rate of over 90%. That was one of the purposes of the paper, to demonstrate what those of us who do forensic pathology know that clinicians do a ridiculously terrible job of documenting gunshot wounds.