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Invited Commentary

Martin R. Eichelberger, MD; Catherine S. Gotschall, ScD
Arch Surg. 1997;132(1):62. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430250064015.
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Dr Nance and his colleagues are to be commended for calling attention to important injury patterns in preadult populations. The title is misleading, however, as the article primarily reports the experience of adolescents, with younger children only minimally represented. While an age distribution is not reported, distributions of children with gunshot wounds are typically highly skewed; the mean age of 14 years reported in this article may well be accompanied by a median age of 15 years or higher.

The use of trauma registry data from multiple reporting sites can yield important insights on injury incidence over larger geographic areas, but these data must be carefully interpreted. Readers must be given enough information about the data-collection system to adequately assess the reported findings. Patients are entered in the trauma registry of the Pennsylvania Trauma System Foundation if they have a length of stay of 72 hours, if they are admitted


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