Doctor Shocked By Injuries From Border Wall Falls – State of the Union
In 2023, the trauma center at the University of California, San Diego treated 455 individuals with serious injuries sustained while attempting to cross the US-Mexico border, with 97% of the injuries occurring from falls off the US side of the wall.
The injuries included fractures, abdominal organ injuries, facial injuries, and spine fractures.
“A lot of these [patients] come with fractures all over their body, unfortunately, and that’s what you would expect if someone falls 30ft. It’s like a three-story building,” resident neurosurgeon Alexander Tenorio said.
The construction of a more robust border barrier has contributed to the rise in injuries, and encounters between federal agents and migrants at the border have increased.
The center noted a significant increase in women admitted for border-related injuries, and the severity of injuries has led to extensive medical interventions.
“A lot of these injuries unfortunately don’t heal on their own because they’re so severe and extensive,” Tenorio said.
Healthcare institutions along the southern border are studying the rise in the number and severity of injuries, while volunteers at border camps have raised concerns about the lack of medical attention for injuries sustained during the journey.
“Treatment for the migrants is agent by agent,” one volunteer said.
“She had probably a 4in gash on the inside of her thigh, right by the crease of her knee, and another 3in gash on the top of her calf on the same side, probably razor wire. You could see the muscle,” she said of one particular woman.
“CBP’s message for anyone who is thinking of entering the United States illegally along the southern border is simple: don’t do it. When migrants cross the border illegally, they put their lives in peril,” Customs and Border Protection stated.
“People like to politicize border infrastructure and border policies,” Tenorio said.
The situation is seen as a humanitarian issue, with calls for increased capacity to process people at legal ports of entry.