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Sizable Number of Intentional Injuries Occur at School

Overall risk of intentional injury-related ER visits higher for injuries in school setting versus outside

TUESDAY, Jan. 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The number of emergency department visits (EDVs) related to intentional injuries in schools is considerable, with increased risk for an EDV for injuries occurring in the school setting versus outside the school setting, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in Pediatrics.

Siraj Amanullah, M.D., M.P.H., from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues examined temporal and demographic trends in EDVs after an intentional injury in and outside the school setting. Data were extracted from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program from 2001 to 2008 for children aged 5 to 19 years.

From 2001 to 2008, the researchers identified 7,397,301 EDVs for injuries sustained at school, of which an estimated 10 percent were reported as intentional. Compared with intentional injury outside the school setting, intentional injury in the school setting was associated with an overall risk of 2.33 for an EDV. In multivariate analysis, demographic risk factors for intentional-injury-related EDVs originating in the school setting included being 10 to 14 or 15 to 19 years old (odds ratios [ORs], 1.58 and 1.69, respectively); being black or American-Indian (ORs, 4.14 and 2.48, respectively); and having Hispanic ethnicity (OR, 3.67). For an intentional injury-related EDV originating in the school setting, the odds of hospitalization were 2.01, compared with odds of 5.85 in the outside-school setting.

"Our study identifies age, gender, and racial and ethnic disparities associated with school-based intentional injuries, emphasizing the need for the development of culturally appropriate preventive strategies," the authors write.

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