Study Reveals Cost to NHS

The study, by the Trauma Audit Research Network (TARN) at The University of Manchester, looked at all penetrating trauma injuries that resulted in immediate admission to hospital for three or more days or death within 93 days.

Stabbings accounted for almost three-quarters of all penetrative injuries with an average cost to the NHS per victim of 7,196 Pounds. Firearm injuries, accounting for nearly a fifth of cases studied, cost an average of 10,307 Pounds per patient, while penetrating injuries caused by vehicle collisions, only two percent of cases, cost the most at 16,185 Pounds per patient.

The research, based on TRAN data from half (121) of all hospitals receiving trauma patients in England and Wales, was carried out between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2005. The results show that there were 1,365 patients with penetrating trauma injuries, 91 percent of whom were male. The median age was 30 years. More than 90 percent of injuries were alleged assaults, and 47 percent of the patients were admitted to critical care. Overall hospital mortality rate was 8.3 percent, and the rate for stabbing was 7 percent.

"Our findings indicate that the initial hospital costs associated with penetrating trauma are substantial, and vary to a considerable degree by patient, injury and treatment characteristics," said Dr Fiona Lecky, research director at TARN. "Public health initiatives that aim to reduce the incidence and severity of penetrating trauma are therefore likely to produce significant savings in acute trauma care costs.''

The study carried out by Health Economist Steven Morris from the University of Brunel, looked at treatment costs for each patient based on initial hospitalisation. It included costs of transportation, hospital stay and all surgical procedures performed.; Source: University of Manchester