Non-Fatal Firearm Injuries: Utilization and Expenditures for Children Pre- and Post-Injury

Firearm injuries are among the leading preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in children. A recent study featuring PISC Internal Advisory Board member Joel Fein, MD, MPH, examined the effect non-fatal firearm injuries have on health expenditures. The team conducted a retrospective cohort study of children under the age of 18 who had experienced a non-fatal firearm injury from 2010-2016. Healthcare encounters from a year prior to the injury were compared to healthcare encounters a year after the injury. Results indicated an overall increase of $18.5 million dollars in health expenditures after the injury, an average of $5,612 per patient. Additionally, 40% of these children qualified for complex chronic condition status after their injury. Prevention of firearm injuries would not only reduce morbidity and mortality rates in children, it would significantly reduce healthcare costs.

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