U.S. acute care hospital shootings, 2012-2016: A content analysis study.

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Obstetrics & Gynecology, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Journal Title

Work (Reading, Mass.)

MeSH Headings

Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Emergency Service, Hospital, Female, Firearms, Hospitals, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Occupational Injuries, Patients' Rooms, Seasons, Suicide, United States, Workplace Violence, Wounds, Gunshot


BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers experience a disproportionately high frequency of workplace assaults. Incidents involving firearms are of particular concern.

OBJECTIVE: To provide detailed characterizations of recent hospital shootings to better inform prevention and mitigation strategies.

METHODS: Quantitative content analysis of reports involving hospital shootings resulting in casualties derived from web searches for each year from 2012-2016. Data were abstracted independently by two investigators, with differences resolved by consensus. Data were compared between subgroups by chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, or Kruskal-Wallis test, as appropriate.

RESULTS: Eighty-eight shootings occurred in 86 hospitals resulting in 121 firearms-related casualties, including 54 victims and 67 perpetrators. Case fatality rates were 55.6% (n = 30) and 70.1% (n = 47), respectively. The most frequent sites involved were the emergency department, (n = 27, 30.3%), patient room (n = 19, 21.3%), and parking lot (n = 13, 14.6%). Grudge (n = 17, 19.3%), suicide (n = 14, 15.9%), and mental instability (n = 13, 14.8%) were the most common explanations for these shootings. Four inadvertent discharges occurred and were more likely to involve a female perpetrator (p = 0.03). Shootings were most frequent during summer (p = 0.03) and winter (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Out study findings on location and seasonal patterns can guide the development or improvement of prevention and mitigations strategies for hospital shootings.



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