Study: Police-Inflicted Injuries Send More Than 50,000 To Emergency Rooms EVERY YEAR
by Lily Dane
A new study published by JAMA Surgery found that from 2006 to 2012, there were approximately 51,000 emergency department visits per year for patients injured by law enforcement in the United States, with this number stable over this time period.
From the press release:
During this time period, there were 355,677 ED visits for injuries by law enforcement, and frequencies did not increase over time. Of these visits, 0.3 percent (n = 1,202) resulted in death. More than 80 percent of patients were men, and the average age of patients was 32 years. Most lived in zip codes with median household income less than the national average, and 81 percent lived in urban areas. Injuries by law enforcement were more common in the South and West and less common in the Northeast and Midwest. Most injuries by law enforcement resulted from being struck, with gunshot and stab wounds accounting for fewer than seven percent. Most injuries were minor. Medically identified substance abuse was common in patients injured by police, as was mental illness.
The most common cause of injury was “being struck by or against” which accounted for approximately 77 percent of the ER visits.
Lead study author Dr. Elinore Kaufman, a surgical resident at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City, told Live Science that mental illness was common, affecting 20 percent of people injured. She added that the study’s estimate of 51,000 emergency room visits per year does not include deaths that occur at crime scenes or people who are injured but do not seek medical attention.
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