Firearm violence is preventable. The first step in preventing it is to understand the nature and extent of the problem what it is, whom it affects, where it occurs, how patterns have changed over time and the factors contributing to these changes. An examination of the factors contributing to firearm violence; and changes over time is covered elsewhere in this special issue.
Here, the study provides an overview of fatal and nonfatal firearm violence in the United States examining patterns of interpersonal, self-directed and unintentional firearm injuries and deaths, including the demographic characteristics of victimization, trends over time, and health impact.
Fatal firearm injury data were obtaining from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). Nonfatal firearm injury data were obtaining from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). Trends were testing using Joinpoint regression analyses. CDC Cost of Injury modules were using to estimate costs associated with firearm deaths and injuries. A total of 10% of firearm injury survivors; will be readmitting to the hospital for further treatment within 90 days of their original injuries.
“Life does not go back to normal after surviving gunshot injury. Survivors are likely to have problems related to their injury; and may require additional hospitalization,” explained corresponding author Bindu Kalesan, MPH; assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM); and assistant professor of community health services at Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH).
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.3 million Americans survived gun violence injuries between 2001 and 2017. Despite this large burden of morbidity; there is not a clear understanding of the health; and disease outcomes that occur as a consequence of firearm injury.
However, BUSM and BUSPH researchers used national readmission data from 2013 and 2014 to identify all firearm hospitalizations; but compared it with vehicle occupant and pedestrian motor vehicle hospitalizations. Hence using readmission data; to identify all those who were readmitted within 90 days; meanwhile they found a 20% increased risk of readmission among those with firearm injury; hence as comparing to pedestrian motor vehicle injury patients; and 30%^ increased risk when compared to occupant motor vehicle injury patients; within 90 days after discharge.
“The majority of conversations around gun violence is regarding the lethality. But the survivors are often overlooked; hence considered as either “heroes” and in some cases “criminals”. But both were incorrect; health consequences rest of their life; which will be expensive and will have a great impact on their daily living.”
However, according to the researchers the majority of these patients have Medicaid as insurance and a large proportion are uninsured. “Our study merely gives us a preliminary understanding of the health; to have a better understanding of the total burden and the costs of treatments,” said Bindu.