Am Surg. 2020 Aug 22:3134820943558. doi: 10.1177/0003134820943558. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: To study the relationship between race and outcomes of patients with firearm injuries hospitalized in the United States.
METHODS: The 2016 National Inpatient Sample was used. Patients were included if they had a principal diagnosis of firearm injury. Exclusion criteria were age <16 years and elective admissions. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes were morbidity (traumatic shock, prolonged mechanical ventilation, acute respiratory distress syndrome [ADRS], and ventilator-associated pneumonia [VAP]), and resource utilization (length of stay and total hospitalization charges and costs).
RESULTS: The sample included 31 335 patients; 52% were Black and 29% were Caucasian. The mean age was 32 years and 88% were male. Black patients had lower odds of mortality (adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 0.41 (95% CI: 0.32-0.53), P < .01). However, compared with Caucasians, Blacks had higher mean total hospitalization charges (adjusted mean difference (aMD) : $14 052 (CI: $1469-$26 635), P = .03) and costs (aMD: $3248 (CI: $654-$5842), P = .01) despite similar mean length of stay (aMD: 0.70 (CI: -0.05-1.45), P = .07). Both racial groups had similar rates of traumatic shock (aOR: 0.91 (0.72-1.15), P = .44), prolonged mechanical ventilation (aOR: 0.82 (0.63-1.09), P = .17), ARDS (aOR: 1.18 (0.45-3.07), P = .74) and VAP (aOR: 1.27 (0.47-3.41), P = .63).
DISCUSSION: Black patients with firearm injuries had a lower adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality compared with other races. However, despite having a similar hospital length of stay and in-hospital morbidity, -Black patients had higher total hospitalization costs and charges.