July 2, 2015

"Significant Increase" In Adolescent ED Visits for Self-Inflicted Injuries

According to a recent article in Pediatrics, from 2009 to 2013, research found a “significant increase” in the number of self-inflicted injuries (SII) by adolescents that resulted in trips to the emergency department (ED). Researchers reviewed 286,678 adolescent trauma victims during that time, and found that the number who visited the ED for SII increased from 1.1% in 2009 to 1.6% in 2012. Of that population, they found that SII due to firearms decreased (from 27.3% to 21.9%), though it was still the most common method of SII among males (34.4%). Among females, the most common methods of SII were cutting or piercing (48.0%).

Researchers also found that the chances of SII were higher among (1) females, (2) older adolescents (i.e., age 15 or older), (3) adolescents with comorbid conditions (e.g., substance abuse or mental health disorder), and (4) Asian American adolescents and lower among African American adolescents. The chances of adolescents admitted to the ED dying were higher for those with SII than for those with other injuries.

Click here to read the full article and here for additional information and resources on SII from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.