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A Comparison Between Non-Powder Gun and Powder-Gun Injuries in a Young Pediatric Population
Marielena Bachier-Rodriguez, MD and A. Feliz, University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, LeBonheur Children's Hospital, Knoxville TN

Abstract:
Background/Objectives: Non-powder guns (NPG) are viewed as recreational weapons by the general public. Literature on firearm injuries in the pediatric population is scarce. We intended to describe and compare the epidemiology, circumstances of injury, and outcomes of children with NPG versus powder-gun injuries (GSW). Methods: We performed a 5-year retrospective analysis of children 0-14 years-old treated for NPG and GSW injuries at our level-one pediatric trauma center. Mann-Whitney and Pearson's ?2 were used to compare continuous and categorical variables, respectively. Results: There were 43 NPG injuries and 112 GSW's. Patients were predominantly male (84%NPG vs. 82%GSW; p=0.38) with a median age of 11 years (range: 0.65-14.96; p=0.82). Analysis of residential zip codes showed that 74% NPG injuries and 83% GSW lived in regions with higher poverty than the national level (>15.1%poverty; p=0.23). Children with NPG injuries were more likely Caucasian (56%) and 84% sustained unintentional injuries, while children with GSW were African-American (71%) and 45% were the victims of assault (p< 0.0001). When compared to NPG, children with GSW had more severe injuries, required more surgical interventions, had longer hospital stays, and higher mortality (Table 1).

Conclusion:
Our results highlight two important findings. First, NPG injuries were accidental and thus preventable with improved legislation and education. Second, health-care disparities associated to gun violence among African-Americans are prevalent even in early childhood and prevention efforts should include this younger population.
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Objective:
At the end of this activity, the learner should be able to compare the epidemiology and outcomes of non-powder gun injuries (NPG) versus powder-gun injuries (GSW), and to describe the social implications of these differences.Objective Content:
Content Outline: Epidemiology of non-powder gun (NPG) injuries: Children are predominantly Caucasian males, from low socioeconomic status, and the majority of injuries are accidental. Epidemiology of powder-gun injuries (GSW): Children are predominantly African-American males, from low socioeconomic status, and are the victims of assault even at a young age. Children with GSW have worse outcomes than children with NPG injuries. Social Implications: NPG injuries are accidental and preventable with education. On the contrary, gun violence is associated with health-care disparities and needs to be addressed even in young children.


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