Pediatric Trauma Society

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Circumstances Surrounding Gun Violence with Youths in an Urban Setting
Breanna A. Borg, B.S.1; Carolyn Backes, RN, BSN, TCRN2; Jennifer S. McLeod, MD3; Christina Shanti, MD2; Lydia Donoghue, MD2
1Wayne State University School of Medicine, Royal Oak, MI; 2Children's Hospital of Michigan, detroit, MI; 3Wayne State University Michael and Marian Ilitch Department is Surgery, detroit, MI

Introduction: Our pediatric trauma center has noted an increase in the occurrence of gunshot wounds in children. We aimed to understand the circumstances surrounding these injuries in order to provide targeted injury prevention methodologies.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed on patients who presented with a gunshot wound to our Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and two neighboring Adult Trauma Centers between 2013-2017.

Results: Three hundred twenty-six patients (6 months to 18 years) were treated for gunshot wounds. Patients were African American (86%), Caucasian (9%), and other races (5%). Eight zip-codes were identified as high-risk, accounting for 52% of patients. Most injuries (86%) were from powder firearms. Known circumstances (n=275) included drive-by shootings (47%), unlocked guns (19%), crime related (13%), altercation between adolescents (7%), cross-fire from adult altercation (6%), home invasion (6%), and suicide attempts (2%). There was a progressive increase of 30% over the last five years. The increase in incidence was predominantly from an increase in drive-by shootings; however, the incidence of injuries from unlocked guns has remained relatively constant per year (Figure). Mortality was 6%.

Conclusion: Identifying high risk zones for drive-by shootings and other crimes is critical for developing system-focused interventions. Zip-code data stratified by age and circumstances, will allow for targeted community outreach on gun safety education, in an effort to reduce the incidence of injuries from unlocked guns.

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