Go to content

Healthcare utilization and costs following non-fatal powdered and non-powdered firearm injuries for children and youth


Little is known about the healthcare and economic burdens of non-fatal firearm injuries for children/youth beyond the initial admission. This study sought to estimate healthcare utilization and total direct healthcare costs of non-fatal powdered and non-powdered (air gun) firearm injuries 1-year post-injury. Using administrative data from 2003 to 2018 on all children/youth 0–24 years old in Ontario, Canada, a matched 1:2 cohort study was conducted to compare children/youth who experienced powdered and non-powdered firearm injuries with those who did not. Mean and median number of healthcare encounters and costs, and respective 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and interquartile ranges (IQRs), were estimated for both weapon type groups and controls and by intent. Children/youth who experienced a powdered and non-powdered firearm injury had a higher number of healthcare encounters and costs per year than those who did not. Mean 1-year costs for those with powdered and non-powdered firearm injuries were $8825 ($8007–$9643) and $2349 ($2118–$2578), respectively, versus $812 ($567–$1058) and $753 ($594–$911), respectively, for those without. Mean 1-year costs were highest for handgun injuries ($12,875 [95% CI $9941–$15,808]), and for intentional assault-related ($13,498 [$11,843–$15,153]; $3287 [$2213–$4362]), and intentional self-injuries ($14,773 [$6893–$22,652]; $6005 [$2193–$9817]) for both powdered and non-powdered firearm injuries, respectively.

Conclusion — Firearm injuries have substantial healthcare and economic burdens beyond the initial injury-related admission; this should be accounted for when examining the overall impact of firearm injuries.



de Oliveira C, Macpherson A, Hepburn CM, Huang A, Strauss A, Liu N, Fiksenbaum L, Pageau P, Gomez D, Saunders NR. Eur J Pediatr. 2022; 181(6):2329-42. Epub 2022 Mar 5.

View Source