Pediatric firearm injury survivors have increased long-term mortality, finds study

Children and adolescents who survive assault, including by firearm, have increased long-term mortality compared to those who survive unintentional, nonviolent trauma. That is the primary finding of a study reported in the Proceedings of the 2018 AEM Consensus Conference: Aligning the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Research Agenda to Reduce Health Outcome Gaps, to be published in the December 2018 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), a journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

The lead author of the study is Ashkon Shaahinfar, MD, MPH, attending physician and emergency ultrasound director, Division of Emergency Medicine, at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland

The findings of the study are discussed with Dr. Shaahinfar in the featured podcast of AEM Early Access, a collaboration between Brown University Emergency Medicine and the editors of AEM.

The study, by Shaahinfar, et al., highlights the disparities that black adolescent males and the socioeconomically disadvantaged face with regard to community violence and premature mortality. In light of the findings, the authors maintain that the need for prospective studies and the implementation of evidence-based programs and policies is urgent.

Commenting on the study are 2018 AEM Consensus Conference co-chairs Kurt Denninghoff, MD, distinguished professor and associate head for research at the University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine and Paul Ishimine, MD, director of pediatric emergency medicine at UCSD/Rady Children’s Hospital.

“This study identifies socioeconomic characteristics of childhood victims of violence that are associated with disparities in the rates of premature mortality. In particular, the authors demonstrate the association between violent events early in life with an increased long-term risk of homicide. This represents a valuable opportunity for injury prevention research.”

The 2019 SAEM Consensus Conference: Wellness for the Future: Cultural and Systems-based Challenges and Solutions, will take place at the Mirage, Las Vegas on May 14, 2019, in conjunction with SAEM19, the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.