Navigation Links
Children and Teens in Emergency Departments Who Are at Risk for Suicide: Nearly 20% Have Access to Guns

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 07, 2013

Nearly one in five children and teens found to be at risk for suicide by emergency department care teams report that there are guns in their homes. This is according to a study presented yesterday by Stephen Teach, MD, MPH, FAAP, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC. Dr. Teach is the Associate Chief of Emergency Medicine at Children's National Medical Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24 years in the United States. Nearly half of youths who die by suicide use a firearm.

Dr. Teach was part of a team of emergency room physician/researchers who created a suicide risk screening tool for healthcare professionals in emergency departments (EDs) to figure out which youths need further mental health evaluation to keep them from harming themselves. As part of the research to develop that tool, researchers asked youths about access to guns in or around their home and about gun/bullet storage.

“For more than 1.5 million adolescents, the ED is their primary point of contact with the healthcare system, which makes the ED an important place for identifying youth at risk for suicide,” said Dr. Teach.

Of the patients who completed the emergency department screening tool in this study, almost 30 percent were found to be at risk for suicide, and almost 20 percent of those at risk, reported guns in or around the home. Of those at risk for suicide and reporting guns in the home, 31 percent knew how to access the guns, 31 percent knew how to access the bullets, and 15 percent knew how to access both the guns and the bullets.

Many clinicians and parents do not know how to ask youth about suicide, so they require screening tools to assist in detection, said study senior author Lisa M. Horowitz, PhD, MPH, Staff Scientist/Pediatric Psychologist at the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. “According to our data, when asked their opinion, nearly all of the kids in our study were in favor of suicide screening in the ED. Our study shows that if you ask kids directly about suicide, they will tell you what they are thinking.”

Study participants included 524 patients ages 10 to 21 who were seen for medical, surgical, or psychiatric complaints at one of three pediatric EDs. They were asked to fill out a 17-item questionnaire that the researchers used to develop ASQ (Ask Suicide-Screening Questions), a four-question screening tool that can be used for all pediatric patients visiting the ED. The ASQ has been validated against a longer more in-depth suicide assessment tool.

“While many youths who kill themselves have mental health disorders, up to 40 percent of youths who kill themselves have no known mental illness,” said co- author and youth suicide expert, Jeffrey A. Bridge, PhD, Principal Investigator at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University. “Therefore, it is important to screen all children and adolescents for suicide, regardless of the reason they are visiting the ED. This study also highlights the importance of parents understanding the risks of having guns in their homes. Being at risk for suicide and having access to firearms is a volatile mix. These conversations need to take place in the ED with families of children at risk for suicide.”

For access to YouSendIt files with HD clips and script, please contact Paula Darte or Emily Hartman: 202-476-4500.

The research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health (Drs. Horowitz & Pao); institutional research funds from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and grant K01 MH-69948 from the National Institute of Mental Health (Dr. Bridge); institutional research funds from the Program for Patient Safety and Quality at Boston Children’s Hospital Boston (Dr. Wharff).

The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) are four individual pediatric organizations that co-sponsor the PAS Annual Meeting – the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Members of these organizations are pediatricians and other health care providers who are practicing in the research, academic and clinical arenas. The four sponsoring organizations are leaders in the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy within pediatrics, and all share a common mission of fostering the health and well-being of children worldwide.

Children's National Medical Center
Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Home to Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. Children’s National is a Magnet® designated hospital. With 303 beds and eight regional outpatient centers, Children’s National is the premier provider of acute pediatric services in the Washington metropolitan area. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. IntegraGen launches ARISk test, a genetic screening tool for autism in high-risk children
2. In children born with severe heart defect, surgical management has little effect on neuro outcomes
3. Children Born to Obese Moms May Face Higher Autism Risk: Study
4. Supporting LGB children may influence their long-term health, BU study finds
5. Out-of-hand tree nut consumption associated with better diet quality in children and adults
6. BASPCAN - UK-wide increase in number of children
7. Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
8. U.S. Children Exposed to Hours of Background TV Daily
9. Leaders in childrens health to gather in Boston
10. Dietary changes help some children with ADHD
11. Bullied Children at Greater Risk for Self-Harm, Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear ... explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases ... cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs ... will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to ... Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored ... one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... abuse located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share ... video, available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... YORK , November 27, 2015 ... system is set to go online. The potential to ... processes is vast and far from fully exploited as ... to patient health records, either via mobile tablet or ... ) --> ) --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ) ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier ... Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Instrumentation Review, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Netherlands , November 26, 2015 ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... Netherlands has found that immunotherapy can be ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: