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Medical News & Perspectives
February 19, 2014

Firearm-Related Hospitalizations: 20 US Children, Teens Daily

JAMA. 2014;311(7):664. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.993

Every day, an average of 20 children and adolescents in the United States sustain firearm-related injuries serious enough to warrant hospitalization, said researchers whose findings appeared in Pediatrics.

Researchers from Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and Boston University School of Medicine in Boston estimated that in 2009, the latest year such data were available, 7391 children and adolescents younger than 20 years were hospitalized because of firearm-related injuries (Leventhal JM et al. Pediatrics. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1809 [published online January 27, 2014]). Although previous studies have focused on firearm-related deaths (3459 deaths in 2010 among children and adolescents younger than 21 years) and emergency department visits for firearm-related injuries (almost 21 000 visits among children and adolescents in 2011), the researchers said there has been little focus on hospitalizations for this type of trauma, which typically occurs when injuries are severe and costly to treat.

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