Stabbings costing Britain over PS3million a year

August 1st, 2008 - 4:31 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Aug 1 (ANI): The spate of gun and knife crime in Britain is costing the National Health Service over 3 million pounds a year, a new study has found.
The study led by Trauma Audit Research Network (TARN) at The University of Manchester has found that stabbings accounted for almost three-quarters of all penetrative injuries with an average cost of 7,196 pounds per victim.
In addition, firearm injuries, accounted for nearly a fifth of cases studied, costing an average of 10,307 pounds per patient and penetrating injuries caused by vehicle collisions cost the most at 16,185 pounds per patient.
The research, based on TARN 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 team found that there were 1,365 patients with penetrating trauma injuries, 91pct of whom were male. The median age was 30 years.
More than 90 pct of injuries were alleged assaults, and 47pct of the patients were admitted to critical care, while the overall hospital mortality rate was 8.3 pct. The rate for stabbing was 7 pct.
“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.
“Although the costs of penetrating trauma resulting from shooting are higher than from stabbing, the most commonly used weapon in violent crime in England and Wales is actually a knife.
“At an average cost of 7,699 pounds per penetrating injury from alleged assault and a total of 417 injuries per year requiring hospitalisation for at least three days, the total acute care cost of this type of injury alone may exceed 3.2 million pounds annually.
“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,”” she added.
Lead researcher Steven Morris, Health Economist from the University of Brunel examined the treatment costs for each patient based on initial hospitalisation. It included costs of transportation, hospital stay and all surgical procedures performed.
“Considering the additional medical costs of rehabilitation and broader costs to society resulting from lost productivity, permanent disability, premature death and the pain and suffering of the victims and their families, there is a compelling argument for money to be better spent on prevention strategies that reduce violent incidents,” said Dr Lecky.
“It should be borne in mind that most of the cost of trauma, especially stabbing, is not to the health service but in billions per annum to the taxpayer through legal costs, loss of productive tax-paying years in those that die or are severely disabled and in long-term care.
Trauma is the most expensive, and neglected, ”disease” to society because it mainly affects young tax paying people,”” she added. (ANI)

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