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Research Letter
January 23, 2019

US Emergency Department Encounters for Firearm Injuries According to Presentation at Trauma vs Nontrauma Centers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Yale–Drug Abuse, Addiction, and HIV Research Scholars Program, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 3Center for Emergency Care Policy and Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 4Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 5Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • 6Penn Injury Science Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Surg. Published online January 23, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.4640

In the United States, there are more than twice as many nonfatal firearm injuries as fatal firearm injuries each year.1 For many of these individuals, their only contact with the health care system may be the emergency department (ED), where there may be an opportunity for clinicians to provide interventions to prevent recurrent injury.2 Effective interventions to address firearm injury for assault (hospital-based violence intervention programs) and unintentional injury (counseling and safe storage) exist.3,4 However violence intervention programs exist in only a fraction of trauma centers and best practices for addressing unintentional injury have not been developed for the hospital setting.5 To determine the opportunities and settings to deliver interventions to prevent recurrent injury, we describe the volume and disposition of individuals with firearm injuries presenting to EDs in the United States according to trauma center presentation and injury intent.

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