“Realistic” data shows an increase in children’s firearm injuries during the pandemic

October 10 2022

2 minutes to read

source:

Ogalde I et al. Epidemiology of firearm infection at the Level 1 Children’s Injury Center before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented at: AAP National Conference and Exhibition; 7-11 October 2022; Anaheim, California.

Disclosures:
Ogalde did not make any relevant financial disclosures.


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ANAHIM, CA – Data presented at the AAP National Conference and Exposition showed an increase in gun-related injuries among children during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a sharp rise in injuries among black children.

co-author Irma T. Ugalde, MDHealio told the idea for the study came from researchers’ experiences at work on ED during the pandemic.

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Ogalde and others.

“We’ve observed more gun injuries in children in our community, but we haven’t known the full extent,” Ogalde said. “To understand how solutions are targeted to mitigate these types of trauma, we needed to approach this in a scientific way to understand the actual rise and describe the factors associated with children who were victims of these injuries before and after the pandemic.”

Research has shown that owning a firearm has increased During the pandemic, the AAP said this week Guns should be organized like cars To mitigate the nation’s leading causes of death for people aged 0-24 years.

Ugalde and colleagues conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study that analyzed firearm injuries at a trauma center and compared data from 2019 with data from 2020 and 2021. They also used their institutional trauma registry, which follows the same classification system as the National Trauma Registry, and included factors such as residence ZIP codes , race, ethnicity, injury characteristics, injury mechanism, definitive diagnosis codes, and ED clearance.

“We also delved into investigations of social work notes, ED notes, and hospital notes to better characterize the risk factors associated with child victims of gun-related injuries,” Ogalde said.

They found that the number of firearm-related injuries to children in a trauma center increased from 88 in 2019 to 118 in 2020 and remained high at 115 in 2021, and that there is a significant increase in the proportion of firearm-related injuries involving black children. From 30.7% in 2019 to 39.8% in 2020 and 47.8% in 2021.

The researchers also found that childhood firearm injuries increased during the COVID-19 pandemic among mentally ill patients, when the shooter was a known friend, when injuries occurred in the home, and when a firearm was left open.

O’Galde described the results as “realistic.”

“We were surprised to see that while black children accounted for 30% of all childhood firearm injuries in 2019, this percentage increased annually, so by 2021, they made up 47% of all firearm-related injuries in children at our center,” Ugalde said. Actual number of black children [injured by firearms] More than double in 2021 compared to 2019.”

Ogalde and colleagues noted in their summary that increases in firearm-related injuries in children in “an already exposed population should stimulate future initiatives and studies to mitigate the risk of injury and death.” The AAP announced at the conference that such initiatives are underway.

References:

Firearms-related injuries may have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966492. Published Oct 7, 2022. Accessed Oct 10, 2022.

Ogalde I et al. Epidemiology of firearm infection at the Level 1 Children’s Injury Center before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented at: AAP National Conference and Exhibition; 7-11 October 2022; Anaheim, California.

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