EDs seeing higher gun injury cases than before pandemic: 4 notes

The CDC found gun injury-related visits to emergency departments remained high for the fourth year in a row, especially among patients under 24.

The CDC collected data from ambulance calls in 27 states from January 2019 through September 2023. The study, published June 20 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that rates of firearm violence have decreased since the first years of the pandemic, but injuries have not fallen.

Here are four things to know:

  • In 2023, 1,045 out of every 100,000 ambulance calls for teens and young adults ages 15 to 24 were for firearm injuries.

  • The subgroup with the largest persistent elevation in 2023 were children and adolescents younger than 14, with a rate of 235 of every 100,000 emergency medical service encounters. Injuries ranged from gunshot wounds by others to accidental self-inflicted injuries. In 2019, the rate of ambulance calls for children with gun injuries was 148.5 per every 100,000.

  • The highest rate of gun injuries was in the 15 to 24 age range.

  • Rates of firearm injuries were highest in urban counties with severe housing problems, greater income inequality and higher unemployment rates.

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