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Epidemiology and characteristics of firearm injuries in a French level I trauma centre, 2009–2019
  1. Marie Fernandez1,
  2. Claire Saccardy2,
  3. Hoel Letissier1,
  4. Frédéric Dubrana1,
  5. Rémi Di Francia1
  1. 1 Trauma Department, CHU Brest, Brest, France
  2. 2 Department of Forensic Medicine, CHU Brest, Brest, France
  1. Correspondence to Rémi Di Francia, Trauma Department, CHU Brest, Brest, France;{at}


Background Firearm injuries (FI) are an increasing problem in Europe but there have been few European epidemiological studies on civilian FI, particularly in France. This study investigated the epidemiology of FI at a French level I trauma centre.

Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted of all patients admitted to our centre with an FI between January 2009 and December 2019. We investigated the epidemiological trends of FI during the study period, and characterised the FI.

Results A total of 162 patients were victims of FI. Prevalence was 0.11% and the mean annual incidence was 10.4 per 100 000 habs. A significant increase has been observed over the last 10 years, from 5 cases in 2009 (3.1%) to 30 in 2019 (18.5%). Of the 162 victims, 85 (52.5%) died as a direct result of the FI: 72 suicides (88.9%) and 9 victims of urban violence (11.1%) (armed public environment disorder). 95.3% of the patients died before reaching at the hospital. There were 95 cases (58.7%) of suicide and 33 cases (20.4%) of urban violence. The head was shot in 87 cases (48.9%), the thorax in 32 cases (18.5%) and the lower limbs in 24 cases (13.5%). A total of 106 surgeries were performed on 54 patients (33.3%).

Conclusions We identified 162 cases of FI with a mean annual incidence of 10.4 per 100 000 habs. A significant increase in FI was observed over the last 10 years. 52.2% of patients died, and the main context was suicide or attempted suicide.

  • firearm
  • injury diagnosis
  • descriptive epidemiology
  • traumatic brain injury

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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  • Contributors RDF conceived the study. MF and CS undertook the recruitment of patients and MF analysed their data. MF and HL did the statistical analyses. MF daft the manuscript and all authors contributed substantially to its revision. RDF and FD revised the manuscript. RDF translated and submitted the manuscript. RDF take responsibility for the paper as a whole.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.