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1.
Lancet Public Health ; 7(11): e976-e982, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096193

ABSTRACT

Firearm-related injury is a leading cause of death disproportionately affecting adolescents and young adults across the world, especially in the Americas. Little progress has been made over the past four decades, as inaction and the adoption of ineffective or unevidenced interventions have become commonplace. The COVID-19 pandemic reconfigured health systems towards prevention and harm reduction, sharpened public attention to the burden of preventable deaths, and inspired a fresh ambition of eliminating avertable deaths. In this Viewpoint, we argue that preventing firearm injury should garner bolder action in post-pandemic public health and we present a case for reducing the global burden of firearm injury supported by evidence and international examples. Crucially, we aim to guide policy making in directions that end the cycle of grief, anger, activism, deflection, and inaction and create more peaceful and fairer societies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , Adolescent , Young Adult , Humans , United States , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology , Wounds, Gunshot/prevention & control , Public Health , Pandemics , COVID-19/prevention & control
2.
BMJ ; 379: o2430, 2022 10 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2064128
3.
Ann Surg ; 275(5): e725-e727, 2022 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051782

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to characterize changes in firearm injuries at 5 level 1 trauma centers in Northern California in the 12 months following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the preceding 4 years, accounting for regional variations and seasonal trends. SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND DATA: Increased firearm injuries have been reported during the early peaks of the COVID-19 pandemic despite shelter-in-place restrictions. However, these data are overwhelmingly from singlecenter studies, during the initial phase of the pandemic prior to lifting of shelter-in-place restrictions, or do not account for seasonal trends. METHODS: An interrupted time-series analysis (ITSA) of all firearm injuries presenting to 5 adult level 1 trauma centers in Northern California was performed (January 2016to February 2021). ITSA modeled the association of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020) with monthly firearm injuries using the ordinary least-squares method, included month indicators to adjust for seasonality, and specified lags of up to 12 months to account for autocorrelation. RESULTS: Prior to the start of COVID-19, firearm injuries averaged (±SD) of 86 (±16) and were decreasing by 0.5/month (P < 0.01). The start of COVID- 19 (March 2020) was associated with an alarming increase of 39 firearm injuries/month (P < 0.01) followed by an ongoing rise of 3.5/mo (P < 0.01). This resulted in an average of 130 (±26) firearm injuries/month during the COVID-19 period and included 8 of the 10 highest monthly firearm injury rates in the past 5 years. CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight an alarming escalation in firearm injuries in the 12 months following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern California. Additional studies and resources are needed to better understand and address this parallel public health crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , California/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Trauma Centers , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
4.
Injury ; 53(11): 3655-3662, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2031363

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic had numerous negative effects on the US healthcare system. Many states implemented stay-at-home (SAH) orders to slow COVID-19 virus transmission. We measured the association between SAH orders on the injury mechanism type and volume of trauma center admissions during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: All trauma patients aged 16 years and older who were treated at the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program participating centers from January 2018-September 2020. Weekly trauma patient volume, patient demographics, and injury characteristics were compared across the corresponding SAH time periods from each year. Patient volume was modeled using harmonic regression with a random hospital effect. RESULTS: There were 166,773 patients admitted in 2020 after a SAH order and an average of 160,962 patients were treated over the corresponding periods in 2018-2019 in 474 centers. Patients presenting with a pre-existing condition of alcohol misuse increased (13,611 (8.3%) vs. 10,440 (6.6%), p <0.001). Assault injuries increased (19,056 (11.4%) vs. 15,605 (9.8%)) and firearm-related injuries (14,246 (8.5%) vs. 10,316 (6.4%)), p<0.001. Firearm-specific assault injuries increased (10,748 (75.5%) vs. 7,600 (74.0%)) as did firearm-specific unintentional injuries (1,318 (9.3%) vs. 830 (8.1%), p<0.001. In the month preceding the SAH orders, trauma center admissions decreased. Within a week of SAH implementation, hospital admissions increased (p<0.001) until a plateau occurred 10 weeks later above predicted levels. On regional sub-analysis, admission volume remained significantly elevated for the Midwest during weeks 11-25 after SAH order implementation, (p<0.001).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wounds, Gunshot , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Trauma Centers
5.
Prev Med ; 163: 107216, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2004626

ABSTRACT

This study sought to characterize frequency and demographic characteristics of firearm injury and penetrating trauma in Maryland over the first year of the pandemic, by comparing these characteristics to those of the three years prior to stay-at-home order issuance. Patients were identified in the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission database using ICD-10 codes for firearm injury by all intents and assaults by penetrating trauma. Cases from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020 ("pre-stay-at-home") were compared to those from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 ("post-stay-at-home") using descriptive statistics. There was no significant change overall in frequency or demographics of firearm injury or penetrating trauma in the year after stay-at-home orders were issued. Youth between ages 15 and 24, overwhelmingly male, comprise a disproportionately high percentage of firearm injuries and assaults, and most penetrating trauma occurs in urban environments where Black non-Hispanic youth and children of low socioeconomic status are at high risk. Our study also found unintentional firearm injury among adults was significantly increased during the pandemic. While increased unintentional firearm injury among adults was the major significant change found in our study, the persistence of firearm injury, particularly in youth, racial and ethnic minority groups, and those in urban environments, should be deeply concerning. Stay-at-home policies did not keep youth safer from firearm injury. With continued high rates of firearm injury and the national debate over how to prevent these incidents, increased education and comprehensive strategies for prevention are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Ethnicity , Humans , Male , Maryland/epidemiology , Minority Groups , Population Surveillance , United States , Violence , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology , Wounds, Gunshot/prevention & control , Young Adult
6.
J Surg Res ; 280: 103-113, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1983573

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Mass shootings pose a considerable threat to public safety and significantly cost the United States in terms of lives and expenses. The following are the specific aims of this study: (1) to assess US mass shootings, firearm-related sales, laws, and regional differences from 2015 to 2021 and (2) to investigate changes in mass shootings and firearm sales before and during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of mass shootings, gun sales, and laws regarding the minimum age required to purchase a firearm within the United States from 2015 to 2021. The 10 states/regions with the greatest mean mass shootings/capita from 2015 to 2021 were selected for further analysis. RESULTS: Mass shootings correlated significantly with firearm sales from 2015 to 2021 nationwide (P < 0.02 for all). The growth in mass shootings, the number killed/injured, and gun sales were greater in 2020 and 2021 compared to the years prior. The 10 states with the highest mean mass shooting/capita over the study period were Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee. No significant correlation was found between the number of mass shootings/capita and the minimum age to purchase a firearm. CONCLUSIONS: Firearm sales correlated significantly with mass shootings from 2015 to 2021. Mass shootings and gun sales increased at greater rates during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic compared to the years before the pandemic. Mass shootings exhibited inconsistent trends with state gun laws regarding the minimum age to purchase a firearm. Future studies may consider investigating the methods by which firearms used in mass shootings are obtained to further identify targets for prevention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , United States/epidemiology , Humans , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology , Homicide , COVID-19/epidemiology , Arkansas
8.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(8): e2225339, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1971188
10.
Surgery ; 172(5): 1555-1562, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1937228

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has altered daily life on a global scale and has resulted in significant mortality with >985,000 lives lost in the United States alone. Superimposed on the COVID-19 pandemic has been a concurrent worsening of longstanding urban gun violence. We sought to evaluate the impact attributable to these 2 major public health issues on the greater Louisville region as determined by years of potential life lost. METHODS: Using the Collaborative Jefferson County Firearm Injury Database, all firearm injuries from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2021 were examined. The COVID-19 data was compiled from the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. Pre-COVID (March 1, 2019-February 29, 2020) and COVID (March 1, 2020-February 28, 2021) time intervals were examined. The demographics, outcomes data, and years of potential life lost were determined for the groups, and injury locations were geocoded. RESULTS: From 2011 to 2021, there were 6,043 firearm injuries in Jefferson County, Kentucky. During the COVID time interval, there were 4,574 years of potential life lost due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and 9,722 years of potential life lost due to all-cause gun violence. In the pre-COVID time interval, there were 5,723 years of potential life lost due to all-cause gun violence. CONCLUSION: In Louisville, greater years of potential life lost were attributable to firearm fatalities than the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Given the impact of COVID-19, the robust response has been proportionate and appropriate. The lack of response to firearm injury and fatality is striking in comparison. Additional resources to combat the sequelae of gun violence are needed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Gun Violence , Wounds, Gunshot , Humans , Life Expectancy , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Violence , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
12.
World Neurosurg ; 164: e530-e539, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878415

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the global delivery of health care. Recent data suggest a possible impact of the pandemic on patterns of neurotrauma. The aim was to assess the impact of the pandemic on the incidence of neurotrauma, with a focus on cranial gunshot wounds (cGSWs) at a large Midwestern level 1 trauma center. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of our trauma registry from March through September 2020 and compared it to the same months in 2019. Odds ratios were utilized to assess for differences in patient demographics, injury characteristics, rates of neurotrauma, and rates of cGSWs. RESULTS: A total of 1188 patients presented with neurotrauma, 558 in 2019 and 630 in 2020. The majority of patients were male (71.33% in 2019; 68.57% in 2020) and Caucasian (78.67% in 2019; 75.4% in 2020). Patients presented with cGSWs more frequently in 2020 (n = 49, 7.78%) than in 2019 (n = 25, 4.48%). The odds of suffering a cGSW in 2020 was 73.6% higher than those in 2019 (95% confidence interval = [1.0871, 2.7722]; P = 0.0209). The etiology of such injury was most commonly assault (n = 16, 21.62% in 2019; n = 34, 45.95% in 2020), followed by self-inflicted injury (n = 4, 5.41% in 2019; 12, 16.22% in 2020). CONCLUSIONS: Despite the government-mandated shutdown, we observed an increase in the number of neurotrauma cases in 2020. There was a significant increase in the incidence cGSWs in 2020, with an increase in assaults and self-inflicted injuries. Further investigation into socioeconomic factors for the observed increase in cGSWs is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wounds, Gunshot , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Trauma Centers , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
14.
J Trauma Nurs ; 29(3): 125-130, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1831476

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on geriatric trauma presenting to the emergency department is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To examine geriatric trauma emergency department admission trends during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This retrospective, observational, comparison study was conducted in an academic emergency department in Turkey. Trauma patients 65 years and older who presented to the emergency department within 1 year of March 12, 2020, were included. Patients admitted in the same date range in the previous year were included as the control group. The characteristics of the patients, injured area, and injury mechanisms were compared. RESULTS: Geriatric trauma admissions decreased (relative risk = 0.71, odds ratio [OR] = 0.69 [95% confidence interval, CI: 0.62, 0.77], p < .001). According to the type of injury, there was no significant difference in admissions to the emergency department (p = .318). During the pandemic, there was an increase in falls and a decrease in stab wounds and gunshot wounds (p = .001). Multiple trauma (OR = 5.56 [95% CI: 3.75, 8.23], p < .001), fall (OR = 2.41 [95% CI: 1.6, 3.73], p < .001), and-assault related injuries (OR = 4.43 [95% CI: 2.06, 9.56], p < .001) were determined as factors that increased the admissions to the emergency department compared with the prepandemic. CONCLUSION: Although geriatric trauma emergency department admissions decreased during the pandemic, those due to falls and assaults increased. Although curfews and social isolation resulted in a decrease in penetrating injuries, assault-related trauma has increased.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wounds, Gunshot , Aged , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
15.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(4): e229393, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1813430

ABSTRACT

Importance: In the US, the COVID-19 pandemic intensified some conditions that may contribute to firearm violence, and a recent surge in firearm sales during the pandemic has been reported. However, patterns of change in firearm violence in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US remain unclear. Objective: To quantify the changes in interpersonal firearm violence associated with the pandemic across all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cross-sectional study examined 50 US states and the District of Columbia from January 1, 2016, to February 28, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic period was defined as between March 1, 2020, and February 28, 2021. Statistical analysis was performed from April to December 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: A 2-stage interrupted time-series design was used to examine the excess burden of firearm-related incidents, nonfatal injuries, and deaths associated with the pandemic while accounting for long-term trends and seasonality. In the first stage, separate quasi-Poisson regression models were fit to the daily number of firearm events in each state. In the second stage, estimates were pooled using a multivariate meta-analysis. Results: In the US (all 50 states and the District of Columbia) during the pandemic period of March 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021, there were 62 485 identified firearm-related incidents, 40 021 firearm-related nonfatal injuries, and 19 818 firearm-related deaths. The pandemic period was associated with 8138 (95% empirical confidence interval [eCI], 2769-12 948) excess incidents (increase of 15.0% [95% eCI, 4.6%-26.1%]), 10 222 (95% eCI, 8284-11 650) excess nonfatal injuries (increase of 34.3% [95% eCI, 26.1%-41.1%]), and 4381 (95% eCI, 2262-6264) excess deaths (increase of 28.4% [95% eCI, 12.9%-46.2%]). The increase in firearm-related violence was more pronounced from June to October 2020 and in Minnesota and New York State. Conclusions and Relevance: In the US, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with an excess burden of firearm-related incidents, nonfatal injuries, and deaths, with substantial temporal and spatial variations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wounds, Gunshot , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , Violence , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
16.
J Pediatr Surg ; 57(7): 1370-1376, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783583

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
17.
BMJ Open ; 12(3): e059315, 2022 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759371

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To examine victimisation rates, geographic patterns and neighbourhood characteristics associated with non-fatal firearm injury rates before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study. SETTING: City of Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, 1 January 2017-30 June 2021. PARTICIPANTS: Intentional non-fatal firearm injury victims from Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department records. The study included information on 2578 non-fatal firearm injury victims between ages 0 and 77 years. Of these victims, 82.5% were male and 77.4% were black. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Rates of non-fatal firearm injuries per 100 000 population by victim age, race, sex and incident motive. Prepandemic and peripandemic non-fatal firearm injury rates. RESULTS: Non-fatal shooting rates increased 8.60%, from 57.0 per 100 000 person-years in prepandemic years to 65.6 per 100 000 person-years during the pandemic (p<0.001). Rates of female victims (15.2 vs 23.8 per 100,000; p<0.001) and older victims (91.3 vs 120.4 per 100,000; p<0.001) increased significantly during the pandemic compared with the prepandemic period. Neighbourhoods with higher levels of structural disadvantage (IRR: 1.157, 95% CI 1.012 to 1.324) and prepandemic firearm injury rates (IRR: 1.001, 95% CI 1.001 to 1.002) was positively associated with higher rates of non-fatal firearm injuries during the pandemic, adjusting for neighbourhood characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Non-fatal firearm injuries increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among female and older victims. Efforts are needed to expand and rethink current firearm prevention efforts that both address the diversification of victimisation and the larger societal trauma of firearm violence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Indiana/epidemiology , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology , Young Adult
18.
Prev Med ; 158: 107020, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740318

ABSTRACT

Recent increases in firearm violence in U.S. cities are well-documented, however dynamic changes in the people, places and intensity of this public health threat during the COVID-19 pandemic are relatively unexplored. This descriptive epidemiologic study spanning from January 1, 2015 - March 31, 2021 utilizes the Philadelphia Police Department's registry of shooting victims, a database which includes all individuals shot and/or killed due to interpersonal firearm violence in the city of Philadelphia. We compared victim and event characteristics prior to the pandemic with those following implementation of pandemic containment measures. In this study, containment began on March 16, 2020, when non-essential businesses were ordered to close in Philadelphia. There were 331 (SE = 13.9) individuals shot/quarter pre-containment vs. 545 (SE = 66.4) individuals shot/quarter post-containment (p = 0.031). Post-containment, the proportion of women shot increased by 39% (95% CI: 1.21, 1.59), and the proportion of children shot increased by 17% (95% CI: 1.00, 1.35). Black women and children were more likely to be shot post-containment (RR 1.11, 95% CI: 1.02, 1.20 and RR 1.08, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.14, respectively). The proportion of mass shootings (≥4 individuals shot within 100 m within 1 h) increased by 53% post-containment (95% CI: 1.25, 1.88). Geographic analysis revealed relative increases in all shootings and mass shootings in specific city locations post-containment. The observed changes in firearm injury epidemiology following COVID-19 containment in Philadelphia demonstrate an intensification in firearm violence, which is increasingly impacting people who are likely made more vulnerable by existing social and structural disadvantage. These findings support existing knowledge about structural causes of interpersonal firearm violence and suggest structural solutions are required to address this public health threat.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Firearms , Wounds, Gunshot , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Philadelphia/epidemiology , Violence , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(2): e2145708, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669323

ABSTRACT

Importance: Public health measures instituted to reduce the spread of COVID-19 led to severe disruptions to the structure of daily life, and the resultant social and financial impact may have contributed to an increase in violence. Objective: To examine the trends in violent penetrating injuries during the first COVID-19 pandemic year compared with previous years. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cross-sectional study was performed to compare the prevalence of violent penetrating injuries during the first COVID-19 pandemic year, March 2020 to February 2021, with the previous 5 years, March 2015 to February 2020. This study was performed among all patients with a violent penetrating injury presenting at Boston Medical Center, an urban, level I trauma center that is the largest safety-net hospital and busiest trauma center in New England. Data were analyzed from January 4 to November 29, 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcomes were the incidence and timing of emergency department presentation for violent penetrating injuries during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the previous 5 years. Patient demographics and injury characteristics were also assessed. Results: A total of 2383 patients (median [IQR] age, 29.5 [23.4-39.3] years; 2032 [85.4%] men and 351 [14.6%] women) presenting for a violent penetrating injury were evaluated, including 1567 Black patients (65.7%), 448 Hispanic patients (18.8%), and 210 White patients (8.8%). There was an increase in injuries during the first pandemic year compared with the previous 5 years, with an increase in shootings (mean [SD], 0.61 [0.89] injuries per day vs 0.46 [0.76] injuries per day; P = .002) but not stabbings (mean [SD], 0.60 [0.79] injuries per day vs 0.60 [0.82] injuries per day; P = .78). This surge in firearm violence began while Massachusetts was still under a stay-at-home advisory and before large-scale racial justice protests began. Patients presenting with violent penetrating injuries in the pandemic surge months (April-October 2020) compared with the same period in previous years were disproportionately male (153 patients [93.3%] vs 510 patients [87.6%]; P = .04), unemployed (70 patients [57.4%] vs 221 patients [46.6%]; P = .03), and Hispanic (40 patients [26.0%] vs 99 patients [17.9%]; P = .009), with a concurrent decrease in White patients (0 patients vs 26 patients [4.7%]), and were more likely to have no previous history of violent penetrating injury (146 patients [89.0%] vs 471 patients [80.9%]; P = .02). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that unprecedented measures implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 were associated with an increase in gun violence. As the pandemic abates, efforts at community violence prevention and intervention must be redoubled to defend communities against the epidemic of violence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Violence/statistics & numerical data , Wounds, Penetrating/epidemiology , Adult , Boston/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Quarantine , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology , Wounds, Penetrating/ethnology , Wounds, Stab/epidemiology , Young Adult
20.
J Bone Joint Surg Am ; 104(3): 215-220, 2022 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594306

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially impacted the delivery of health care, both through direct care associated with COVID-19 and through more pervasive effects. Our goal was to evaluate whether the number of orthopaedic consultations for firearm injuries differed during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the same period in prior years. We hypothesized that the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the same period in prior years, would have a higher number of orthopaedic consultations for firearm injuries and a lower rate of outpatient follow-up after consultations. METHODS: A prospectively collected database of orthopaedic trauma consultations at a level-I trauma center was queried for firearm injuries. We compared the number of orthopaedic consultations for firearm injury during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic (March 23, 2020, to September 30, 2020, referred to as the pandemic group) with identical dates from 2017 to 2019 (referred to as the pre-pandemic group). Outpatient follow-up rates, ZIP codes (and associated Area Deprivation Index), and demographic data were compared between the pandemic group and the pre-pandemic group. RESULTS: During the entire study period, 552 orthopaedic consultations for firearm injuries were identified. There was a 63% increase in the daily mean number of firearm injury consultations in the pandemic group, to 1.01, compared with the pre-pandemic group, 0.62 (p < 0.001). There was no difference in the rate of outpatient follow-up: 66% for the pandemic group and 72% for the pre-pandemic group. There was no difference in the percentage of patients from the most socially deprived decile: 45.3% in the pandemic group and 49.5% in the pre-pandemic group. Patients presenting during the pandemic were more often uninsured (75.8%) relative to the pre-pandemic group (67.9%), with a lack of health insurance significantly decreasing the likelihood of outpatient follow-up (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the same period in prior years, there was a significant increase in the number of orthopaedic consultations for firearm injuries during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in our community. Patient race, socioeconomic status, and outpatient follow-up were similar between the pandemic group and the pre-pandemic group. There was a higher proportion of uninsured patients within the pandemic group and a lower rate of follow-up among those without insurance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Firearms , Musculoskeletal System/injuries , Wounds, Gunshot/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Databases, Factual , Epidemics , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Young Adult
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