Mortality after adolescent firearm injury: effect of trauma center designation

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Mortality after adolescent firearm injury: effect of trauma center designation

Category: Injury|Journal: Journal of Adolescent Health|Author: G Nace Jr., J Hatchimonji, M Allukian, M Goldshore, M Nance, M Nayyar, R Swendiman, V Luks|Year: 2021

Purpose

To determine the incidence and outcomes of firearm injuries in adolescents and the effect of trauma center (TC) designation on their mortality.

 

Methods

The National Trauma Data Bank (2010–2016) was queried for all encounters involving adolescents aged 13–16 years with firearm injuries. Multivariable logistic regression was employed to determine the association of covariates with mortality (α = .05). Propensity score matching was also used to explore the relationship between TC designation and mortality.

 

Results

A total of 9,029 adolescents met inclusion criteria. Patients aged 15 and 16 years compromised 77.8% of the cohort and were more often male (87.9% vs. 80.6%, p < .001), black (63.8% vs. 56.1%, p < .001), injured in the abdomen (25.4% vs. 22.4%, p = .007) or extremities (62.3% vs. 56.7%, p < .001), and incurred severe injuries (54.5% vs. 50.9%, p = .004) versus 13- and 14-year-old patients. Younger patients were more often injured in the head/neck (23.8% vs. 20.5%, p = .001). Multivariable logistic regression demonstrated no difference in mortality between age groups. Poor neurologic presentation, severe injury, abdominal, chest, and head injuries were all associated with an increased odds of death. Odds of mortality were 2.88 times higher at adult TCs compared to pediatric TCs (CI: 1.55–5.36, p = .001). However, using a 1:1 propensity score matching model, no difference in mortality was found between TC types (p = NS).

 

Conclusions

Variability exists in outcomes for adolescents after firearm injuries. Understanding and identifying the potential differences between pediatric and adult TCs managing adolescent firearm victims may improve survival in all treatment venues, but these data support patients being treated at the closest available TC.

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