National trends in the cost burden of pediatric gunshot wounds across the United States

GVPedia Study Database

National trends in the cost burden of pediatric gunshot wounds across the United States

Category: Costs, Injury, Youth|Journal: The Journal of Pediatrics|Author: A Mandelbaum, C Williamson, P Benharash, S Sidhu, V Dobaria, V Sullins, Z Tran|Year: 2021

Objective

To characterize hospitalization costs attributable to gun-related injuries in children across the US.

 

Study design

The 2005-2017 National Inpatient Sample was used to identify all pediatric admissions for gunshot wounds (GSW). Patients were stratified by International Classification of Diseases procedural codes for trauma-related operations. Annual trends in GSW hospitalizations and costs were analyzed with survey-weighted estimates. Multivariable regressions were used to identify factors associated with high-cost hospitalizations.

 

Results

During the study period, an estimated 36 283 pediatric patients were admitted for a GSW, with 43.1% undergoing an operative intervention during hospitalization. Admissions for pediatric firearm injuries decreased from 3246 in 2005 to 3185 in 2017 (NPtrend < .001). The median inflation-adjusted cost was $12 408 (IQR $6253-$24 585). Median costs rose significantly from $10 749 in 2005 to $16 157 in 2017 (P < .001). Compared with those who did not undergo surgical interventions, operative patients incurred increased median costs ($18 576 vs $8942, P < .001). Assault and self-harm injuries as well as several operations were independently associated with classification in the highest cost tertile.

 

Conclusions

Admissions for pediatric firearm injuries were associated with a significant socioeconomic burden in the US, with increasing resource use over time. Pediatric gun violence is a major public health crisis that warrants further research and advocacy to reduce its prevalence and social impact.

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