Firearm injuries in rural Saudi Arabia: incidence, patterns, management, and cost

GVPedia Study Database

Firearm injuries in rural Saudi Arabia: incidence, patterns, management, and cost

Category: Costs, Injury|Journal: Egyptian Journal of Forenesic Sciences (full text)|Author: A AlOtailbi, A Morgan, H Alashqar, M AlQahtani, N AlAqil, N AlOkeil, S AlGhaleb, S AlGuwainem|Year: 2019

Background: A retrospective study from 2013 to 2017 was conducted to evaluate the incidence of small firearms and air gun injuries, social demographics of victims, severity of injuries, patterns, length of stay, and cost of hospitalization in highly populated central rural Al Kharj region of Saudi Arabia. Results: In total, the study included 102 cases. The incidence of firearms and air gun injuries in Al Kharj region was 3.13/100,000. Most of the victims were young-aged males (98 cases; 96.1%). The males were absolute majority with the rate of males to females 23.5:1. There were no fatal injuries in this study and no suicides. Majority of the cases were accidents or usage of firearms as toys. The most common site of entry was the lower limb (44 cases; 43.1%), the abdomen (20 cases; 19.6%), and the upper limbs (16 cases, 15.7%). Handguns were the cause of injuries in 66 cases (64.7%) and air guns in 36 cases (35.3%) respectively. The median Injury Severity Score was 15. The total length of stay due to injuries over the study period was 514 days and was estimated for the local economy downfall of 285,000 Sadi Riyals as a cost of hospitalization. Twenty-six (25.4%) patients had to be readmitted to the hospital due to various complications. Thirty-seven (36.3%) patients had long-term disability. The mean length of stay in the hospital was 5 days (range = 1–9 days). The length of stay was positively correlated with Injury Severity Score, and significant increase was identified when the patients had ISS more than 20 (p < 0.04). Conclusion: The results from this study support the current tight gun law regulations in Saudi Arabia, which aims to reduce the number of firearm-related morbidity and mortality in the society. There is a necessity for better education in Saudi Arabian communities in relation to firearms and their use in order to reduce the number of firearm accidents and related injuries.

Share: