Injuries from firearms in hunting activities

  • Randall T. Loder
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Riley Children's Hospital, 705 Riley Hospital Drive, ROC 4250, Indianapolis, IN 46202, United States. Tel.: +1 317 278 0961; fax: +1 317 274 7197.
    Affiliations
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, James Whitcomb Riley Children's Hospital, Indianapolis, IN, United States
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  • Neil Farren
    Affiliations
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, James Whitcomb Riley Children's Hospital, Indianapolis, IN, United States
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      Abstract

      Background

      Recreational hunting is a very popular sport, and frequently involves firearms. Few studies address the pattern of firearm injuries occurring with hunting and how they differ from firearm injuries not associated with hunting.

      Purpose

      A nation wide database will provide an overall perspective of the scope of the problem and types of injuries.

      Methods

      Our data were obtained from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research Firearm Injury Surveillance Study 1993–2008 (ICPSR 30543). It was statistically analyzed for demographic and injury patterns using SUDAAN 10™ software. A p < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

      Results

      There were 1,841,269 ED visits for firearm related injuries 1993–2008; 35,970 were involved in hunting (1.95%). Hunters were older than non-hunters (34.5 vs. 26.7 years, p < 0.0001). Handguns were involved in 48% of the non-hunters and 5.3% of the hunters (p < 0.0001). The injury was unintentional in 99.4% of hunters; for non-hunters 32.1% were unintentional and 60.7% assaults. The majority of the hunting injuries presented to small hospitals (65.9%) while the majority of non-hunting injuries presented to the large (27.0%) and very large (35.0%) hospitals. Hunters were nearly all Caucasian (92%). In hunters, 57% were shot compared to 77% in non-hunters. The most common diagnosis in hunters was a laceration (42%) compared to a puncture in non-hunters (41%). The head and neck accounted for nearly one-half of the injuries in hunters (47%); for non-hunters it was the head and neck (29%) and the leg/foot (24%). Mortality was 0.6% for hunters and 5.3% for non-hunters. The use of alcohol and being involved in antisocial behaviours was much higher in the non-hunters. The estimated incidence of a firearm injury associated with hunting activities was 9 per 1 million hunting days.

      Conclusion

      Hunters injured by firearms were nearly all Caucasian, older than non-hunters, did not involve handguns, presented to small hospitals, often sustained unintentional injuries and were not shot; most commonly injured in the head and neck, and had an overall mortality of 0.6%. These data can be a reference for future studies regarding hunting injuries associated with firearms.

      Keywords

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      References

      1. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau. 1991 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation; 1993.

      2. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau. 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation; 1997.

      3. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau. 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation; 2002.

      4. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau. 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation; 2007.

      5. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau. 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation; 2013.

      6. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Firearm Injury Surveillance Study, 1993–2008 [Computer file]. ICPSR 30543-v1. In version 1 ed.: Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-08-09; 2008.

      7. Division of Hazard and Injury Data Systems. US Consumer Product Commission. NEISS. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. A tool for researchers; 2000.

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