Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: Firearm injuries are a leading
cause of death and disability in the United States. However, there is no comprehensive
surveillance system in place to monitor them. Vital statistics capture external
cause of E-coded firearm-related mortality data but lack important information,
such as circumstances and specific firearm type. Statistical samples of patient
visits, such as those provided by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance
System, are able to provide national estimates of nonfatal firearm injuries
seen in emergency departments, but do not permit estimates for smaller geographic
regions. As a result, the burden of such data collection falls to state and
local health departments.
Hayes R, LeBrun E, Christoffel KK. Public Health Surveillance for Firearm Injuries. JAMA. 1999;282(5):429–430. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-5-jbk0804
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