Firearm-Related Injuries: A Single Center Experience

Samer Asmar, Letitia Bible, Phillip Vartanyan, Lourdes Castanon, Aaron Masjedi, Joseph Richards, Michael Ditillo, Andrew Tang, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Firearm-related injuries (FRI) are an important public health crisis in the US. There is relatively less city level data examining the injury-related trends in Tucson, Arizona. Our study aims to examine FRI, in Southern Arizona's only Level I trauma center. Methods: We conducted a (2014-2019) review of our Level-I trauma center registry. We selected all patients who were evaluated for a FRI. We collected patient and center related variables. Our outcomes were the trends of FRI, injury-related characteristics, and mortality. Cochran–Armitage trend analysis was performed. Results: A total of 1012 FRI patients were identified. The majority of patients were teenagers (32%) and young adults (30%), and 88% were male. Greater than 80% of patients belonged to the low/low-middle socioeconomic class, and 18.5% completed college. The most common firearm utilized was the handgun (45%). The prevalence of FRI increased significantly (2014:15%; 2019:21%; P< 0.01). The most common injury intention was assault (75%). The median ISS was 17(9-25) with most injuries sustained to the extremities (23%). Also, 25% required emergent operative intervention. There is a significant rise in the number of severely injured patients (ISS≥25) (2014:12.1%, 2019:20%; P< 0.01), self-inflicted injuries (2014:10%, 2019:17%; P < 0.01), unintentional injuries (2014:6%, 2019:12%; P< 0.01), and mortality (2014:11%; 2019:19%; P< 0.01). A high prevalence of substance abuse was noted (73% alcohol, 64% drugs). Conclusions: The prevalence of FRI at our center has been rising over the past decade with a shift towards more severe injuries and higher mortality rates. Addressing these alarming changes requires targeted interventions on multiple frontiers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Assault
  • Firearm-related injuries
  • Self-inflected injuries
  • Substance abuse
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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