Pediatric firearm injuries were associated with greater severity and health care utilization than other penetrating trauma suffered by children caused by cutting or piercing, such as with a knife. This observational study used national trauma data in the United States from 2007 through 2016 to analyze 25,155 hospital encounters for firearm injury and 21,270 encounters for a cut or pierce injury in children 17 years old or younger. Firearm injuries were more likely to require admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and have a higher degree of severity, as well as longer hospital and ICU stays, compared to cut or pierce injuries. Bullets have more force than many other weapons used to inflict a cut or pierce injury. Limitations of the study include that the data aren’t fully comprehensive. Study authors suggest pediatric firearm injuries can be reduced through legislative efforts, safe gun storage practices and community-based interventions.
US kids spend more time in hospital for gun wounds than other traumatic injuries
US kids injured by firearms are more likely to have more severe injuries than those hurt by other types of traumatic injury such as cutting or piercing injuries. The researchers used national trauma data in the United States from 2007-2016 to analyse over 25,000 hospital encounters for firearm injury and more than 21,000 encounters for a cut or pierce injury in children under 17. They found those with gunshot wounds were more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and have longer hospital stays; they suggest firearm injuries in children can be reduced through legislative efforts, safe gun storage practices and community-based interventions.
Journal/conference: JAMA Network Open
Organisation/s: Seattle Children’s Hospital Critical Care, USA
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