Impact of Traumatic Suicide Methods on a Level I Trauma Center
Suicide is a major, preventable public health issue. Although firearm-related mechanisms commonly result in death, nonfirearm methods cause significant morbidity and healthcare expenditures. The goal of this study is to compare risk factors and outcomes of firearm and nonfirearm traumatic suicide methods. This retrospective cohort study identified 146 patients who attempted traumatic suicide between 2002 and 2007 at a Level I trauma center. Overall, mean age was 40.2 years, 83 per cent were male, 74 per cent were white, and mean Injury Severity Score (ISS) was 12.7. Most individuals (53%) attempted suicide by firearms and 25 per cent died (84% firearm, 16% nonfirearm techniques). Subjects were more likely to die if they were older than 60 years-old, presented with an ISS greater than 16, or used a firearm. On average, patients using a firearm were older and had a higher ISS and mortality rate compared with those using nonfirearm methods. There was no statistical difference between cohorts with regard to gender, ethnicity, positive drug and alcohol screens, requirement for operation, intensive care unit admission, and hospital length of stay. Nonfirearm traumatic suicide prevention strategies aimed at select individuals may decrease overall attempts, reduce mechanism-related mortality, and potentially impact healthcare expenditures.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Section of Trauma/Critical Care Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, Augusta, Georgia, USA
Publication date: February 1, 2010
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