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Linking emergency care and police department data to strengthen timely information on violence-related paediatric injuries

NCJ Number
Emergency Medicine Journal Volume: 40 Issue: 9 Dated: 2023 Pages: 653–659
Date Published
7 pages

In this paper, the authors consider the U.K.’s improved violence surveillance and report on their examination of the impacts in a U.S. city of the addition of emergency medical service data to ED data on violence-related pediatric injuries.


Combined ED and police department (PD) data have improved violence surveillance in the U.K., enabling significantly improved prevention. The authors sought to determine if the addition of emergency medical service (EMS) data to ED data would contribute meaningful information on violence-related pediatric injuries beyond PD record data in a U.S. city. Cross-sectional data on self-reported violence-related injuries of youth treated in the ED between January 2015 and September 2016 were combined with incidents classified by EMS as intentional interpersonal violence and incidents in which the PD responded to a youth injury from a simple or aggravated assault, robbery, or sexual offence. Nearest neighbor hierarchical spatial clustering detected areas in which 10 or more incidents occurred during this period (hotspots), with the radii of the area being 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, and 3,000 feet. Overlap of PD incidents within ED and EMS hotspots (and vice versa) was calculated and Spearman’s r tested statistical associations between the data sets, or ED and EMS contribution to PD violence information. Significant correlations of ED and EMS incidents in PD hotspots imply that the ED and EMS incidents are as pervasive across the city as that reported by PD. In addition, ED and EMS provided unique violence information, as ED and EMS hotspots never included a majority of PD records. Most incidents unique to ED and EMS records were within 1,000 feet of a school or park. Many violence locations in ED and EMS data were not present in PD records. A combined PD, ED, and EMS database resulted in new knowledge of the geospatial distribution of violence-related pediatric injuries and can be used for data-informed and targeted prevention of violence in which children are injured—especially in and around schools and parks. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023