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Research Letter
April 24, 2013

Firearm Injuries of Children and Adolescents in 2 Colorado Trauma Centers: 2000-2008

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: University of Colorado School of Public Health, Denver (Dr Sauaia and Mr Miller) (angela.sauaia@ucdenver.edu); Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado (Dr Moore); and Children's Hospital Colorado, Denver (Dr Partrick).

JAMA. 2013;309(16):1683-1685. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.3354

To the Editor: Given recent firearm-related fatalities combined with declining gun research funding,1 it is important to monitor firearm injuries in youths. Injury death rates are available but provide an incomplete picture of these potentially preventable injuries.2

Investigations on temporal trends of both fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries remain scarce.3-5 Our objective was to investigate temporal trends of both fatal and nonfatal firearm injuries in children and adolescents presenting to 2 Colorado urban trauma centers.

We queried the trauma registries of 2 level 1 trauma centers in Denver and Aurora, Colorado, from 2000 to 2008 for all injuries occurring in children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 years (hereafter referred to as youth). Trauma registries are mandated in Colorado and include all level 1 trauma center patients with 1 or more of the following criteria: in-hospital death (deaths at scene are not included), admission to hospital unit, highest level trauma team activation, longer than 12 hours of observation, or Injury Severity Score6 (ISS; range, 0-75) greater than 9.