Ohio Injuries: Firearms

Every year in Ohio, over 1,100 people lose their lives from firearm-related injuries and more than 2,000 firearm-related injuries are treated in emergency departments. While the majority of fatalities are suicides (58.6%), the majority of firearm-related emergency department visits are the result of an assault (52.5%). Increased efforts to prevent firearm-related injuries are necessary to reduce this toll on Ohioans. The following data come from the Injury in Ohio report.*

Health Care Resource Utilization

  • From 2005 through 2007, injuries due to firearms resulted in an annual average of:
    • 2,079 Emergency Department Visits
    • 1,587 EMS Runs
    • 1,068 Inpatient Hospitalizations
    • 1,103 Fatalities

  • The number of emergency department visits for firearm-related injuries increased 20.5% from 2005 to 2007
  • Assaults by firearms increased by 41.7%, rising from 851 emergency department visits in 2005 to 1,206 in 2007
  • Young adults ages 15-24 years accounted for 43.6% of emergency department visits, followed by adults ages 25-34 years (25.8%)
  • 52.5% of firearm-related emergency department visits were assaults, followed by unintentional incidents (32.2%)

  • Males accounted for more EMS runs (85.3%), emergency department visits (89.5%) and inpatient hospitalizations (90.2%) related to injuries caused by firearms than females


  • Firearm-related hospitalizations in 2005-2007 accounted for an annual average of:
    • $37.2 million in hospital charges
    • 5,126 days of hospitalization
  • Mean length of stay was 4.8 days

  • Intentional self-inflicted injuries resulted in the highest average hospital charges ($44,552) and longest average length of stay (5.8 days) for firearm-related injuries
  • 64.5% of inpatient hospitalizations for firearm-related injuries were assaults, 18.0% were unintentional, 8.2% were self-inflicted, and 9.3% were of undetermined intent

  • A traumatic brain injury was sustained by 11.6% of the individuals who required inpatient hospitalization for treatment of a firearm-related injury


  • Adults ages 25-44 years comprised 36.3% of fatalities, and another 28.0% of fatalities occurred among adults ages 45-64 years
  • Males accounted for 87.6% of firearm-related deaths
  • In contrast to the pattern noted for emergency department visits and inpatient hospitalizations, suicide accounted for the majority (58.6%) of firearm-related deaths, followed by homicide (38.0%)

*Data for this report were obtained from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Department of Health. This research brief is part of a series reporting on leading causes of injury among selected age groups in Ohio.