Knives cause more disabling injuries than any other type of hand tool. This study investigates knife-related injuries requiring Emergency Department (ED) treatment among children and adults in the United States (US) from 1990 through 2008.
A retrospective analysis of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the Consumer Product Safety Commission was conducted.
An estimated 8,250,914 (95% confidence interval [CI] 7,149,074-9,352,755) knife-related injuries were treated in US EDs from 1990 to 2008, averaging 434,259 (95% CI 427,198-441,322) injuries annually, or 1190 per day.
The injury rate was 1.56 injuries per 1000 US resident population per year.
Fingers/thumbs (66%; 5,447,467 of 8,249,410) were injured most often, and lacerations (94%; 7,793,487 of 8,249,553) were the most common type of injury.
Pocket/utility knives were associated with injury most often (47%; 1,169,960 of 2,481,994), followed by cooking/kitchen knives (36%; 900,812 of 2,481,994).
Children were more likely than adults to be injured while playing with a knife or during horseplay (p < 0.01; odds ratio 9.57; 95% CI 8.10-11.30).
One percent of patients were admitted to the hospital, and altercation-related stabbings to the trunk accounted for 52% of these admissions.
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