Gunshot Injuries in Children Served by Emergency Services

Exterior of a hospital with a sign pointing to the Emergency Room.

This research provides a population-based study of children with gunshot wounds compared to children with other injuries.

The Issue:
Gunshot injuries are second only to motor vehicle accidents as the cause of death for children age 15 to 19 years.

Key Findings

  • Gunshots account for 1 percent of childhood injuries that result in an emergency medical services response.

  • Compared to other mechanisms of injury, gunshots were more likely to result in serious injuries (23%), major surgery (32%), and in-hospital mortality (8%).

  • Eighty-five percent of children with gunshot injuries were males ages 15 to 19.

Gunshot injuries are less common than other types of injuries for children, but result in the highest proportion of serious injury, major surgery, and mortality of any type of trauma.

About the Study:
This population-based retrospective cohort study was conducted between 2006 and 2008 in 93 hospitals in the Western United States. Data from 911 calls were correlated with hospital records to assess outcomes including incidence, injury severity, mortality and cost.