Trends In Hospitalizations Due To Firearm Injuries In Children And Adolescents, 2006-2012
Sarah B Cairo1, Joshua K Burk2, Rina Das Eiden3, Amanda Nickerson4, David H Rothstein1
1Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY;2State University of New York, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY;3Department of Developmental Psychology Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo, NY;44Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention, Department of Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology, Buffalo, NY
Background: To evaluate trends in national frequency of firearm-related hospitalizations in the United States during the past decade.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the 2006, 2009, and 2012 Kids’ Inpatient Databases to identify hospitalizations from firearms-related injuries in patients <19 years of age. External-cause-of injury codes were used to identify patients and categorize injuries based on intent. Odds ratios for firearm-related hospitalizations and in-patient mortality were calculated using a logistic regression model incorporating individual demographic and hospital variables.
Findings: The estimated number of pediatric firearm-related hospitalizations in the United States decreased from 6,278 (8.0/100,000 persons <19 years) in 2006 to 4,092 (5.24/100,000) in 2012. The cause of injury did not change significantly; the majority were classified as unintentional (58.4% - 61.7%) followed by assault (29.4% - 32.9%), unknown (4.4% - 6.4%), and suicide attempts (2.5%-4.3%). The majority of patients were black, with increasing proportions of black patients; proportion of white and Hispanic patients decreased over the study period (Figure). The majority of patients had government issued insurance. There was no significant difference in average length of stay across the three years. The total estimated cost of hospitalizations in 2012 was $91,548,430.
Conclusions: Despite decreased hospitalizations for firearm-related injuries in the past decade, such injuries remain a significant public health concern. Patient demographics appear to be predictive of these hospitalizations and may allow targeted interventions to further reduce injuries and associated hospital costs.
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