The Cost of Hospitalization for Firearm Injuries

GVPedia Study Database

The Cost of Hospitalization for Firearm Injuries

Category: Costs, Injury|Journal: JAMA|Author: M Martin, S Hulley, T Hunt|Year: 1988

The hospital records for all patients (N = 131) admitted during 1984 to San Francisco General Hospital because of firearm injuries were studied to determine the hospital costs and sources of payment for these injuries. Because San Francisco General Hospital is the regional trauma center, the sample is population based, representing all firearm victims hospitalized in San Francisco during 1984. Only hospital costs (excluding professional fees) for the first hospitalization were studied. The total costs for the year were $905 809, an average cost per patient of $6915. Public sources paid 85.6% of this cost, while private sources paid only 14.4%. These findings have important implications for legislators considering bills to restrict the availability of firearms. These legislators must be aware that the issue is not simply one of individual rights, since taxpayers pay most of the costs (estimated to be more than $1 billion per year for the United States) associated with firearm injuries.

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