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J Surg Res. 2013 Sep;184(1):556-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2012.12.047. Epub 2013 Jan 19.

Twenty years of pediatric gunshot wounds: an urban trauma center's experience.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pediatric gunshot wounds remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Recent experience in the urban pediatric population has not been extensively documented.

METHODS:

A retrospective review of the trauma registry identified all pediatric (age 0-16 y) gunshot wound injuries between October 1991 and August 2011. We evaluated demographic, injury location, disposition, and outcome data. We applied descriptive statistics and χ(2) with significance level set to P ≤ 0.05.

RESULTS:

We treated 740 patients at our trauma center. Patients tended to be male (82%) and African American (72%), and most frequently were shot in the abdomen, back, or pelvic regions (26%). Patients with head or neck injuries experienced the highest mortality rate (35%), whereas the mortality rate overall was 12.7%. A total of 23% of patients were discharged directly, but 32% required an operation. We grouped data into five equal time periods, demonstrating that after decreasing through the 1990s, pediatric gunshot wounds presenting to our hospital are steadily increasing.

CONCLUSIONS:

We identified certain demographic and temporal trends regarding pediatric gunshot wounds, and the overall number of injuries appears to be increasing.

KEYWORDS:

Children; Firearm; Gunshot wounds; Pediatrics; Trauma

PMID:
23357275
DOI:
10.1016/j.jss.2012.12.047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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