Firearm injuries, including many assaults, sent 75,000 children and adolescents from the United States. UU Emergency rooms for nine years at a cost of almost $ 3 billion, according to an unprecedented study.
The researchers called it the first nationally representative study on emergency room visits for firearm injuries among US children. UU They found that more than a third of the injured children were hospitalized and 6 percent died. The injuries decreased during most of the 2006-14 study, but there was a rise in the last year.
The researchers found that 11 out of every 100,000 children and adolescents treated in emergency rooms in the US. UU They have injuries related to firearms. That amounts to about 8,300 children each year.
However, the scope of the problem is broader; The study does not include children killed or injured by shots that never arrived at the hospital, nor does it count the costs for patients shooting after they are sent home.
"I do not know what else we need to see in the world to be able to come together and address this problem," said Dr. Faiz Gani, lead author and researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The study is an analysis of the estimates of visits to the emergency department in a national database created by the Agency for Research and Quality of Medical Care of the government of the United States.
The researchers focused on victims under the age of 18; The average age was about 15 years.
Nearly half of the injuries with firearms were by assault, almost 40 percent were involuntary and 2 percent were suicides. There were five times more visits to the emergency room for children than for girls.
Pediatric emergency visits for firearm injuries dropped from a rate of 15 per 100,000 in 2006 to about 7 per 100,000 in 2013, and then jumped to 10 per 100,000 in 2014, the most recent data.
University financing paid for the analysis, published on Monday Pediatrics jama.
The findings highlight that gun violence involving children extends beyond the mass shootings that attract the most attention, said Dr. Robert Sege, co-author of the American Academy of Pediatrics' weapons injury policy. .
"It's extraordinarily sad because these children grow up with fear and affect their ability to feel safe and comfortable at home or at school," said Sege, a professor of medicine at Tufts University who does not have a huge effect on child development. He was involved in the investigation.
Pressure from the firearms lobby has limited funding from the United States government for research into gunshot injuries and death, and that has led to wide gaps in understanding the extent of the problem, said Dr. Denise Dowd, an emergency physician at Children's Hospital Mercy in Kansas City.
"It is really important that we have an idea of the magnitude of life lost and injured and how much money we are spending (…) so that we can prioritize it as a national health concern."
But she said that much more should be known for prevention.
"We need national surveillance systems like we do with motor vehicle deaths, to track these injuries and determine the circumstances," he said.