30 Oct Adolescent Gun Injuries Peak at Ages 15-17
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Faiz Gani, PhD
Postdoctoral research fellow
Department of Surgery
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Firearm related injuries are a leading cause of injury and death in the United States, yet, due to combination of factors, limited data exist that evaluate these injuries, particularly among younger patients (patients younger than 18 years).
The objective of this study was to describe emergency department utilization for firearm related injuries and to quantitate the financial burden associated with these injuries.
In our study of over 75,000 emergency department visits, we observed that each year, over 8,300 children and adolescents present to the emergency department for the treatment / management of a gunshot injury. Within this sub-population of patients, we observed that these injuries are most frequent among patients aged 15-17 years and while these injuries decreased over time initially, were observed to increase again towards the end of the time period studied.
In addition to describing the clinical burden of these injuries, we also sought to describe the financial burden associated with these injuries. For patients discharged from the emergency department, the average (median) charge associated with their care was $2,445, while for patients admitted as inpatients for further care, the average (median) charge was $44,966.
Collectively these injuries resulted in $2.5 billion in emergency department and hospital charges over the time period studied. This translates to an annual financial burden of approximately $270 million.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: The goal of our study was to help readers of our study to better understand the significant clinical burden and loss of life associated with these injuries among young patients as well as understand the significant financial burden associated with these injuries, not only at an individual level, but perhaps equally important to the health system as a whole
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: We hope that our study further conversations around firearm related injuries and gun violence as a whole.
In providing more evidence related to the clinical and financial burden associated with these injuries within this patient population, we hope that our study informs future policies to implement policies and reform that aim to reduce the burden of these injuries in the US.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: The authors of this study have no disclosure or any conflicts of interest.
Gani F, Canner JK. Trends in the Incidence of and Charges Associated With Firearm-Related Injuries Among Pediatric Patients, 2006-2014. JAMA Pediatr. Published online October 29, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3091
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