American pediatric-related gun violence a significant economic concern

A study published in PLOS One details the financial implications involved in pediatric firearm-related injuries in America.

“This is the first study examining national data on the cost of initial hospitalization for pediatric firearm-related injuries,” the study reads.

“In this retrospective review, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database from the years 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 was used to identify all patients 18 years of age and under who were admitted with firearm-related injuries. We compared demographic and discharge-level data including injury severity score, hospital length of stay, income quartile, injury intent, and inflation-adjusted hospital costs across age groups (0–5, 6–9, 10–15, 16–18 years).”

The estimate of pediatric firearm-related admissions each year was nearly 4,800, with an average cost of close to $13,000 per patient.

The study uncovered cost variation based on specific patient demographic characteristics. But regardless, pediatric firearm-related injuries were considered to be a vast economic implication in the healthcare system within America.

“These study findings represent a comprehensive national sampling, however, there are limitations to how the data should be extrapolated,” researchers concluded.

“Future studies can address the limitations to the present study to better illustrate a more holistic estimation of the cost of pediatric firearm violence on society. Moreover, additional costs that must be considered include the loss of productivity for a parent when a child is injured or lost, as well as the potential of contribution of that is lost from the injured or killed child.”

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