Vascular repair after firearm injury is associated with increased morbidity and mortality

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Vascular repair after firearm injury is associated with increased morbidity and mortality

Category: Injury|Journal: Journal of Vascular Surgery (full text)|Author: A Farber, B Kalesan, D Jones, J Kalish, J Siracuse, T Cheng, T James, Y Zuo|Year: 2019


Firearm injuries have high morbidity and mortality. Presentation of injuries requiring concurrent vascular repair and its outcomes are unclear. Our study’s objective was to characterize the injury details and to assess the associated mortality and morbidity after vascular repair.




The National Inpatient Sample was queried from 1993 to 2014 for all firearm injuries. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes were used to identify firearm injuries and those who also underwent a vascular repair. Multivariable analysis was used to assess the effect of a concurrent vascular repair on outcomes.




There were 648,662 firearm injuries identified; 63,973 (9.9%) involved a vascular repair. Overall, 88.7% of patients were male, and Medicaid was the most common insurance (40.2%). Intents were assault or legal intervention (60%), unintentional (24.2%), and suicide (8.6%). Patients undergoing vascular repair were younger, more often of black race and male sex, and on Medicaid insurance, with a lower household income and assault/legal intent (P < .005). Patients who underwent vascular repair had a higher frequency of abdomen/pelvis and extremity injuries as well as an elevated New Injury Severity Score (P < .005). Patients with vascular repair were more frequently treated at urban, teaching, and large hospitals (P < .005). Overall mortality rate was 2.2%; patients who underwent vascular repair had a higher mortality compared with those without (5.51% vs 1.98%; P < .001). Patients with vascular repair had higher rates of acute renal failure (3.1% vs 0.8%), venous thromboembolic events (0.5% vs 0.3%), pulmonary-related events (0.6% vs 0.28%), cardiac-related events (0.8% vs 0.2%), sepsis (1.4% vs 0.5%), and any complication (5.7% vs 2%; all P < .0001). Vascular repair was independently associated with mortality (odds ratio [OR], 2.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.43-2.95; P < .0001). Age older than 46 years (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.71-2.35; P < .0001), male sex (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.05-1.25; P = .003), self-pay/no insurance (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.47-1.75; P < .0001), suicide intent (OR, 3.73; 95% CI, 3.36-4.13; P < .0001), unintentional intent (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.03-1.22; P < .0001), head/neck location (OR, 13.9; 95% CI, 12.5-15.6; P < .0001), Northeast region, and New Injury Severity Score >4 were independently associated with in-hospital mortality. Vascular repair was also independently associated with any complication (OR, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.98-2.28; P < .0001).




Firearm injuries with vascular repair were independently associated with higher injury severity score and mortality. A majority of vascular repairs were performed for injury to the abdomen/pelvis and extremity with assault/legal intent, whereas head and neck injury and suicide intent were the least frequent.

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