Background: Pediatric gunshot wounds remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Recent experience in the urban pediatric population has not been extensively documented. Methods: A retrospective review of the trauma registry identified all pediatric (age 0-16 y) gunshot wound injuries between October 1991 and August 2011. We evaluated demographic, injury location, disposition, and outcome data. We applied descriptive statistics and x2 with significance level set to P ≤ 0.05. Results: We treated 740 patients at our trauma center. Patients tended to be male (82%) and African American (72%), and most frequently were shot in the abdomen, back, or pelvic regions (26%). Patients with head or neck injuries experienced the highest mortality rate (35%), whereas the mortality rate overall was 12.7%. A total of 23% of patients were discharged directly, but 32% required an operation. We grouped data into five equal time periods, demonstrating that after decreasing through the 1990s, pediatric gunshot wounds presenting to our hospital are steadily increasing. Conclusions: We identified certain demographic and temporal trends regarding pediatric gunshot wounds, and the overall number of injuries appears to be increasing.
- Gunshot wounds
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