Emerging Trends of Intentional Firearm Injuries in Northern India: A Study HC01-HC04
Dr. Iram Khan,
B-25, Abrar Nagar, Picnic Spot Road, Kalyanpur, Lucknow-226022, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Many developing countries are facing rise in firearm injury cases owing to communal and ethnic clashes, political violence, armed robberies and suicide causing huge economic loss to society. On the basis of intention, injuries can be categorized as intentional and unintentional or accidental injuries. Intentional injuries will include suicidal, homicidal and assault related injuries.
Aim: This study was undertaken to document the trends and patterns associated with intentional firearm injuries in order to suggest ways to curb the emerging trends.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional and descriptive study conducted at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (JNMCH), AMU, Aligarh, UP, India from May 2007 to April 2008. The parameters studied were month wise distribution of cases, age and sex distribution of victims of intentional gunshot injuries, body part injured, alleged assailant and medical management provided to the victim. The observed data was entered onto a worksheet and descriptive statistics were used.
Results: A total of 140 cases of intentional firearm injuries were studied, 133 were assault cases and 7 were suicide by means of firearm. Maximum number of intentional gunshot injury cases were reported during the month of September (17.14%) and October (14.29%) and least during month of December (2.14%).For intentional injuries, 21-40 years was the high risk age group (91 or 65% cases) with male preponderance (95.71%) and male to female ratio of 22:1. Preferred site for assault was the trunk, with 50.38% cases with chest abdomen and back injuries. Family feud (20.71%) was the leading cause of assault and assailant was not known (47.86%) to the victim in majority of cases of assault injuries.
Conclusion: Increasing cases of firearms as a means of assault and suicide, calls for limiting the number of handgun purchase, regulations to check illegal trade of firearms, accountability of ammunition used and to develop standardised hospital based data collection system so that trend and patterns associated with intentional firearm injuries can be determined.