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Weapons send over 8,000 US children to ER every year, says the analysis

Gun injuries, including many from seizures, sent 75,000 US children and teens to emergency services over nine years at a…

Gun injuries, including many from seizures, sent 75,000 US children and teens to emergency services over nine years at a cost of nearly $ 3 billion, a first-rate study found.

Researchers called the first national representative study on ER visits for gun injuries among American children. They found that more than a third of the injured children were hospitalized and 6 percent died. Damage declined during most of the 2006-14 study, but it was a boost during the last year.

The researchers found that 11 out of 100,000 children and teens treated in the US emergency room have gun-related injuries. It amounts to approximately 8,300 children each year.

However, the scope of the problem is broader; The study does not include children killed or injured by shots who never made it to the hospital, nor do they cover the costs of shooting patients after they were sent home.

“I do not know what more we need to see in the world to get together and deal with this problem,” says Dr. Faiz Gani, the main author and a researcher at Johns Hopkins University Medical School.

The study is an analysis of emergency emergency visit estimates in a national database created by the United States Government Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The researchers focused on victims under 18 years; The average age was around 15.

Almost half of the gun injuries were from assault, almost 40 percent were inadvertent and 2 percent were suicide. There were five times more ER visits for boys than for girls.

Pediatric ER visit for gun injuries dropped from a rate of 15 per 100,000 in 2006 to about 7 per 100,000 2013, then jumped to 10 per 100,000 2014, latest data.
University funding was paid for the analysis, published Monday at JAMA Pediatrics.

The results highlight that violence involving children extends beyond massacre that gets the most attention, says Dr. Robert Sege, co-author of an American Academy of Pediatric Weapons Damage Policy.

“It’s unusually sad because these children grow up in fear and it affects their ability to feel safe and comfortable at home or at school. It has a huge ripple effect on child development,” says Sege, a professor of medicine at Tufts University , who were not involved in the research.

Press from the gunlobe has limited funding from the United States for pistol damage and death research, and has led to major gaps in understanding the extent of the problem, says doctor Denise Dowd, a physician at the Children’s Hospital in Kansas City.

“It’s really important that we have an idea of ​​the extent of lost life and hurt and how much money we spend … so we can prioritize it as a national health risk.”

But she said that much more need to be known for prevention.

“We need national surveillance systems just like we do with deaths for motor vehicles, tracking these injuries and calculating the circumstances,” she said.


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