By: Lewis First, MD, MS; Editor-in-Chief
Sadly there was a 40% increase in firearm violence in the assaulted group compared to the non-assaulted group—most having a firearm violent event within 6 months of the initial assault incident. The authors take this finding further and identify risk factors that can further predict firearm violence in the assaulted group.
What can we learn from this study? We might want to do more than simply deal with the assault injuries themselves in the ED or in follow-up in a primary care setting—but instead try to intervene with more supportive services to these troubled youth in regard to helping them with their substance abuse, mental health needs, need for revenge and /or desire to possess a firearm. Obviously the goal is to do even more prevention work on firearm violence with teens even before this type of assault injury occurs—and Drs. Judith Schaechter and Eliot Nelson, experts on injury prevention from firearms share some important thoughts on this topic in an accompanying commentary (doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-0693). In this era of advocating for pediatrician inquiry into firearm access in homes with children and teens, this study and commentary are well worth your time and attention.