Statement of Purpose This study analyzes changes in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of violently injured patients to guide injury prevention strategies.
Methods/Approach Trauma registry data from 2005 to 2018 was analyzed to identify trends among victims of community violence. This hospital is the only level I trauma center in a large, urban area, treating 99% of all violently injured patients in the city.
Results Since 2005, the median age of violently injured patients increased 9 years from 26 to 35. During this same timeframe, there was an 8.2% increase in violent injury among the White population, a 6.3% increase among the Latinx population, and a 4.9% decrease among the Black population. The rate of severe injury per 100,000 decreased from 118 to 86 in the White population and 325 to 212 in the Black population but increased from 267 to 305 in the Latinx population. There was an 18.5% decrease in penetrating injuries and 18.5% increase in blunt injuries. The mean length of hospital stay following violent injuries increased by 4.1 days.
Conclusions The age of violently injured patients is increasing, and the demographic makeup of violently injured patients is shifting to include a greater proportion of White and Latinx individuals. During the study period, the proportion of Black residents in the city decreased by 28%, but the observed decrease in violent injury in this population was much lower. Additionally, the percentage of Latinx residents in the city increased by 8% during this time, but violent injury increased disproportionately.
Significance and Contributions to Injury and Violence Prevention Science As older populations may have different risk factors, understanding these trends is essential to ensure violence prevention programs provide appropriate interventions and can adapt to effectively target the older population. Prolonged hospital stays may extend the opportunities for interventions to be offered.
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