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Firearm Injuries in a Pediatric Population: African-American Adolescents Continue to Carry the Heavy Burden
Marielena Bachier-Rodriguez, MD, University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, LeBonheur Children's Hospital, Knoxville TN

Abstract:
Background/Objectives: Firearm injuries (FI) have the highest case-fatality rate among pediatric trauma-related deaths. We sought to determine whether demographics, mechanism of injury, and outcomes were age specific. Methods: We performed a 5-year retrospective analysis of patients 0-19 years-old with firearm-related injuries. Children were divided into two cohorts based on age. Mann-Whitney and Pearson's ?2 were used to compare continuous and categorical variables, respectively. Significance was established at p15 years-old. Compared to their younger counterparts, children >15years-old were more likely to be male (82% vs. 90%, p=0.02), African-American (71% vs. 89%, p9; p< 14 years-old was 10.7 vs. 7.5 national. The rate for children >15 years-old was four times greater than the national (12.4 vs. 3.2). Conclusions: Firearm injuries continue to be a prevalent public health concern greatly affecting African-American adolescent males. Prevention strategies and trauma-related health-care resource utilization should target this group in order to reduce the risk of injury and improve outcomes and case-fatality rate in our population.
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Objective:
At the end of this activity, the learner will be able to describe and compare the epidemiology, mechanism of injury, and outcomes of firearm-related injuries according to age-specific groups.Objective Content:
Content Outline: Firearm injuries due to assault are more likely to occur in African-American adolescent males. Correspondingly, this group will require more extensive care and will suffer greater morbidity and mortality. Importantly, case-fatality rate for young and adolescent patients is significantly higher than the national data. Firearm injuries continue to be a prevalent public-health concern and health-care resource utilization should focus on addressing disparities in the African-American population.


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