Hospital visits in the U.S. for firearm-related injuries, 2009

A new Statistical Brief (#136) published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows that hospital stays for gunshot wounds declined 29 percent between 1993 and 2009.

    • In 2009, there were 76,100 ED visits for firearm-related injuries, accounting for less than 1 percent of all injuries treated in the emergency department.
    • Between 1993 and 2009, the number of inpatient hospitalizations for firearm related injuries declined by 29 percent.
    • In 2009, about half of all firearm-related ED visits were the result of an assault. Thirty-five percent of ED visits for firearm injuries were for unintentional injuries, while another 5.4 percent of these visits were for self-inflicted injuries. For the remainder, intent was undetermined.
    • Self-inflicted firearm injuries were significantly more likely to result in death in the ED (19.7 percent) when compared to deaths for assault (4.0 percent), and deaths from unintentional firearm injuries (3.8 percent).
    • Most ED visits for unintentional firearm injuries (62.5 percent) were treated in the ED and released.
    • Approximately half of ED visits for firearm injuries associated with assault led to hospital admission.
    • The rate of ED visits for firearm-related injuries was nine times higher for males than females and three times higher for patients residing in the lowest income communities than for those in higher income communities.

Read the complete report here.

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