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December 7, 1994

Workplace-Related Homicide Among Health Care Workers in the United States, 1980 Through 1990

Author Affiliations

From the Epidemiology Program Office (Dr Goodman), Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Ms Jenkins), and Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Dr Mercy), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.

JAMA. 1994;272(21):1686-1688. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520210070034

Objective.  —To improve understanding of the epidemiology of fatal violence directed toward physicians and other health care workers (HCWs) in health care settings.

Design.  —Analyses of data for 1980 through 1990 from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities surveillance system.

Main Outcome Measures.  —Overall occurrence of occupational injury deaths and occurrence of workplace-related homicides among HCWs.

Results.  —From 1980 through 1990, a total of 522 HCWs died from injuries sustained while working. The most common causes of death were motor vehicle crashes (122 [23.4%]), homicide (106 [20.3%]), and suicide (88 [16.9%]). Firearms were used in the greatest number (78 [73.6%]) of workplace-related homicides among HCWs.

Conclusions.  —These findings highlight the need for strengthened surveillance and more accurate estimates of the risks of workplace-related violent injury for HCWs in the United States.(JAMA. 1994;272:1686-1688)