Gunshot wounds are the cause of a disproportionate share of serious medical injuries in children and teens, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers examined 49,983 instances in which injured children throughout the western United States had a 9-1-1 emergency medical services response. Gunshot wounds accounted for about 1 percent of all injuries recorded, but were associated with 21 percent of deaths.
“Despite being less common than other injury mechanisms, gunshot injuries cause a disproportionate burden of adverse outcomes in children, particularly among older adolescent males,” researchers wrote in the study.
Of the 505 gunshot victims, 83.2 percent were between the ages of 15 and 19, and 84.5 percent were male.
Compared with the 99 percent who suffered other injuries requiring emergency medical services, those injured by gunshot had the highest proportion of serious injuries. About 32 percent required major surgery; there was an 8 percent in-hospital mortality rate.
The average cost was $28,510 per patient.
The full study is available for purchase HERE.