The COVID-19 pandemic and associated rise in pediatric firearm injuries: A multi-institutional study

Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Firearm sales in the United States (U.S.) markedly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our objective was to determine if firearm injuries in children were associated with stay-at-home orders (SHO) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hypothesized there would be an increase in pediatric firearm injuries during SHO. Methods: This was a multi institutional, retrospective study of institutional trauma registries. Patients <18 years with traumatic injuries meeting National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) criteria were included. A “COVID” cohort, defined as time from initiation of state SHO through September 30, 2020 was compared to “Historical” controls from an averaged period of corresponding dates in 2016–2019. An interrupted time series analysis (ITSA) was utilized to evaluate the association of the U.S. declaration of a national state of emergency with pediatric firearm injuries. Results: Nine Level I pediatric trauma centers were included, contributing 48,111 pediatric trauma patients, of which 1,090 patients (2.3%) suffered firearm injuries. There was a significant increase in the proportion of firearm injuries in the COVID cohort (COVID 3.04% vs. Historical 1.83%; p < 0.001). There was an increased cumulative burden of firearm injuries in 2020 compared to a historical average. ITSA showed an 87% increase in the observed rate of firearm injuries above expected after the declaration of a nationwide emergency (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The proportion of firearm injuries affecting children increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic was associated with an increase in pediatric firearm injuries above expected rates based on historical patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1370-1376
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Volume57
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • 2020
  • COVID-19
  • Firearm violence
  • Gun violence
  • Pandemic
  • Pediatric trauma

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The COVID-19 pandemic and associated rise in pediatric firearm injuries: A multi-institutional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this