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Targeting Youth at Risk for Self-Inflicted Injuries

Clin Pediatr; ePub 2018 Oct 19; McCluskey, et al

Recent findings highlight a new vulnerable younger population at risk for self-inflicted injuries. Researchers analyzed data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) database for the years 2008 to 2013 to characterize deliberate self-harm among children and adolescents presenting to an emergency department (ED) in the US. All ED visits for patients aged ≤19 years involving any self-inflicted injuries were selected. They found:

  • 594,658 ED visits involving self-harm were identified.
  • The majority of patients were female (65.8%), and between ages 16 and 19 years (62.6%).
  • Most were treated and released from the ED (44.9%).
  • The most common mechanisms involved injury by cutting/piercing instruments (26.4%) or poisoning by analgesics or antipyretics (21.5%).
  • There was a decrease in ED visits involving 16 to 19 year olds (−8%), and an increase in visits involving 13 to 15 year olds (+45%), 11 to 12 year olds (+94%), and ≤10 year olds (16%).


McCluskey CK, Allareddy V, Rampa S, Allareddy V, Rotta AT. Characterization of suicide and deliberate self-harm among children in the United States. [Published online ahead of print October 19, 2018]. Clin Pediatr. doi:10.1177%2F0009922818806313.