Health
5:55 pm
Sun April 14, 2013

Kansas City Experiences Rise In Unintentional Firearms Injuries

Firearms related deaths among Kansas City residents have remained steady over the last decade. While that’s still unsettling, health officials have identified an especially troublesome trend.

Over the last decade, homicide rates have gone down in Kansas City. Even so, about 100 residents are killed each year from guns. That breaks down to about two people every week.

Outside the emergency room at Truman Medical Centers. In 2002, there were 43 reported emergency room visits (by city residents at ER's throughout the region) due to the unintentional use of guns. By 2010, that had more than doubled to 90 reported visits.
Outside the emergency room at Truman Medical Centers. In 2002, there were 43 reported emergency room visits (by city residents at ER's throughout the region) due to the unintentional use of guns. By 2010, that had more than doubled to 90 reported visits.
Credit Elana Gordon / KCUR

A new health department report found that most, if not all of those deaths are intentional, whether that be from homicide or suicide. Dr. Rex Archer, director of the city’s health department, reviewed the department’s firearms report with a city council committee. He said one alarming change has been the rise in unintentional injuries from firearms.

“We’re seeing a doubling basically of unintentional injury rates from firearms,” Dr. Archer said. “And the most likely hypothesis is that there are more guns that are not being kept in safe ways in places.”

Dr. Archer told council members he’s looking to develop some interventions with the help of local doctors who specialize in gun safety.

The Kansas City Missouri Health Department recently came out with a new report, reviewing firearm deaths of Kansas City, Missouri residents between 2002 and 2012.
The Kansas City Missouri Health Department recently came out with a new report, reviewing firearm deaths of Kansas City, Missouri residents between 2002 and 2012.
Credit Kansas City Missouri Health Department

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