Current Burden of Gunshot Wound Injuries at Two Los Angeles County Level I Trauma Centers

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Current Burden of Gunshot Wound Injuries at Two Los Angeles County Level I Trauma Centers

Category: Costs, Injury|Journal: Journal of the American College of Surgeons (full text)|Author: B Putnam, C Foran, C Lane, D Clark, D Demetriades, D Kim, K INaba, M Schellenberg, P Lalchandani, R Henry|Year: 2019


Gunshot wound (GSW) injuries present a unique surgical challenge. This study explored the financial and clinical burdens of GSW patients across 2 Los Angeles County Level I trauma centers over the last 12 years, and compared them with other forms of interpersonal injury (OIPI).


Study Design

This was a retrospective study of patients presenting as those with GSW and OIPI (defined as combined stab wound or blunt assault), between January 1, 2006 and March 30, 2018, at LAC+USC Medical Center (LAC+USC) and Harbor UCLA Medical Center (HUCLA). Demographic and clinical variables were assessed for GSW patients and compared with victims of OIPI.



There were 17,871 patients who met inclusion criteria. There was a significant difference in mortality for patients with GSW vs OIPI (11% vs 2%, p < 0.001). The odds ratio for GSW patients requiring operation was twice as high as those suffering OIPI (odds ratio [OR] 2.0, 95% CI 1.8 to 2.2). The odds ratio for GSW patients requiring ICU admission was 20% higher than that for OIPI patients (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.36). Gunshot wound patients experienced a longer median length of stay vs OIPI patients (3 days vs 2 days, p < 0.001). The median hospital charge per admission for GSW was twice that of OIPI (GSW $12,612 vs OIPI $6,195; p < 0.001).



When compared with OIPI, GSW patients arrived more severely injured and required more operations, more ICU admissions, and longer hospital stays. Patients with GSW incurred significantly higher hospital charges and had a significantly higher mortality rate. Gunshot wound injury is a unique public health concern requiring comprehensive, nation-wide, contemporary study.

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