July 1988

The Medical and Social Impact of Nonaccidental Injury

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Arch Surg. 1988;123(7):825-827. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400310039006

• To determine the medical and economic impact of nonaccidental trauma at a regional trauma and emergency care facility, a prospective patient database was used to follow up all victims of intentional injury admitted during one year. Specific patient data were combined with financial data to determine the medical outcome, expenditure, and hospital reimbursement. We found that 17% of the 2451 trauma patients admitted to our facility were victims of nonaccidental injury. The majority of these patients were severely injured, with an average hospital stay of six days. Hospital charges averaged $13 000 per patient. Three fourths of these individuals required governmental funding for medical care. Six months after completion of the review, only two thirds of all expenditures had been reimbursed. These patients represent a high medical services use group and consume a disproportionately high percentage of medical resources.

(Arch Surg 1988;123:825-827)