Trauma surgeon talks gun shot wounds, ear reattachment

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Sunday night a Buffalo Police officer was rushed to ECMC after being shot in the head during a traffic stop.

Officer Joseph Acquino underwent surgery Monday morning and is listed in fair condition according to police. Acquino, who has been on the job since 2012, was shot in the ear area; his ear was saved by surgeons at ECMC.

News 4 spoke with Dr. Jeffrey Jordan, the trauma surgeon on-call when Officer Acquino came in.

Dr. Jordan could not speak specifically on Officer Acquino’s case, but spoke to News 4 in general terms about gun shot wounds, and the process of reattaching an ear.

He said the technical ability to reattach an ear is something doctors learn early on; the ability to sew the ear back in place.

The procedure has the potential to be very challenging however, especially when you’re not working with clean margins; a gunshot wound, for example.

If there’s a lot of tissue damage around the injured area, Dr. Jordan explained. Surgeons may need to cut away that damaged tissue to reach healthy tissue in order to make the repair.

“The tissue damage that’s caused by the projectile, the bullet, will lead to a lot of damage. So basically you have to be able to have enough tissue to repair it.”

The ear itself, he said, poses a unique task for surgeons.

“It has pretty poor blood supply and there’s cartilage that has even poorer blood supply. When we’re able to we rely on specialists such as facial or plastic surgeons to re-approximate the tissue but simply it’s sewed up just like any other tissue is when we repair it,” Dr. Jordan explained.

The suspect struggled with Officer Acquino, when he was shot. The 26-year-old Jose Hernandez-Rossy was shot by another officer in the arm and shoulder area, according to police.

Rossy was taken to Kenmore Mercy, where he was pronounced dead Sunday night.

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