EMS Encounters for Firearm-Related Injuries Concentrated in Areas of Greatest Socioeconomic Vulnerability

August 7, 2023– Austin, Texas – ESO, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments, hospitals, state and federal agencies, has released findings focusing on EMS encounters for patients with firearm injuries. The analysis uses data from one of the largest prehospital research databases in the country. These findings are based on nearly 48,000 patients with firearm related injuries encountered by EMS between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022.

“At ESO, we are troubled by the prevalence of firearm-related injuries in areas that face the greatest socioeconomic challenges. That’s why we have placed an emphasis on understanding the gravity of the situation,” said Dr. Brent Myers, Chief Medical Officer at ESO. “This data gives us insights into firearm-related injuries across the country, enabling the agencies we serve to not only understand how to best anticipate the needs for response to such incidents, but also to meaningfully participate in prevention efforts.”

The latest firearm injury data from ESO is broken down by age, gender, race/ethnicity, intent category such as accidental, assault, self-inflicted or unknown, and social vulnerability index. Key Findings for 2022 include:

  • Concentration in Areas of High Socioeconomic Vulnerability: Nearly half of all firearm-related incidents were concentrated in communities within the bottom quartile of socioeconomic status.
  • Increased Distribution: ESO found that while total encounters involving firearms in 2022 remained similar to 2021, a larger number of EMS agencies responded to at least one encounter involving a firearm-related injury, suggesting increased dispersion.
  • Prevalence of Assault: Most firearm-related incidents in both years were categorized as assault cases, accounting for 53% of encounters in 2021 and 51% of encounters in 2022.
  • Gender Distribution: The most firearm-related encounters in each year were among males, representing 84% of encounters in 2021 and 83% of encounters in 2022.
  • Persistent Increased Volume: Data from 2020-2021 revealed a 30% increase in EMS encounters for patients with firearm injuries, compared with pre-COVID data.  The 2022 data indicates that while that rate of increase has abated, we have not seen a return to the pre-COVID levels.  Indeed, the year-over-year change was <0.5% (23,911 vs. 23,723), meaning we are still experiencing a high volume of firearm injuries.

Dr. Myers continued: “The comprehensive dataset available through ESO provides valuable insights into the prevalence of incidents involving firearms and outcomes of patients. This information is essential in supporting best practices for EMS clinicians and helping communities develop effective prevention strategies.”

About the Research:

The research is based on a comprehensive analysis of 1,390 EMS agencies and nearly 48,000 EMS encounters for patients with firearm related injuries between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022.About ESO:

About ESO:

ESO (ESO Solutions, Inc.) is dedicated to improving community health and safety through the power of data. Since its founding in 2004, the company continues to pioneer innovative, user-friendly software to meet the changing needs of today’s EMS agencies, fire departments, hospitals, state and federal offices. ESO currently serves thousands of customers throughout North America with a broad software portfolio, including the industry-leading ESO Electronic Health Record (EHR), the next generation ePCR; ESO Health Data Exchange (HDE), the first-of-its-kind healthcare interoperability platform; ESO Fire RMS, the modern fire Record Management System; ESO Patient Registry (trauma, burn and stroke registry software); and ESO State Repository. ESO is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visitwww.eso.com.

Kaitlyn Karmout
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