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Airgun injuries in New Zealand, 1979-92.
  1. J. D. Langley,
  2. R. N. Norton,
  3. J. C. Alsop,
  4. S. W. Marshall
  1. Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand.


    OBJECTIVES: To describe the epidemiology of serious airgun injury in New Zealand. METHODS: Cases were selected from the New Zealand Health Information Service's hospital inpatient morbidity data files for the period 1979 to 1992 inclusive. RESULTS: There were 718 airgun related injuries resulting in 1.56 injuries/100,000 population/year. Males and 10-14 year olds had higher than average rates of injury. The majority of the incidents were unintentional. There has been a marked decline in injury rates since 1989. CONCLUSIONS: Airgun injuries, while not as serious as powder firearm injuries, account for a significant personal and societal burden. The results suggest that strategies aimed at controlling these injuries, especially those pertaining to children, are in need of review.

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