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Trauma Center Drive Time Distances and Fatal Outcomes among Gunshot Wound Victims

Abstract

Despite nation-wide decreases in crime, urban gun violence remains a serious and pressing issue in many cities. Victim survival in these incidents is often contingent on the speed and quality of care provided. Increasingly, new research has identified the role that specialized trauma care plays in victim survival from firearm-related injuries. Using nearly four years of data on shooting victimizations in Philadelphia we test whether distance to the nearest level 1 trauma center is associated with victim survival. We employ different distance measures based on straight-line Euclidian distance, street network distances, and drive-time estimates—comparing the predictive accuracy of each. Our results find that victims who are shot farther from trauma centers have an increased likelihood of death, and drive time distances provide the most accurate predictions. We discuss the practical implications of this research as it applies to urban public health.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Data is publicly available at https://www.opendataphilly.org/dataset/shooting-victims

  2. 2.

    https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/distance-matrix/start

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Correspondence to Giovanni M. Circo.

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Circo, G.M., Wheeler, A.P. Trauma Center Drive Time Distances and Fatal Outcomes among Gunshot Wound Victims. Appl. Spatial Analysis 14, 379–393 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12061-020-09362-3

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Keywords

  • Gun-violence
  • Street-network
  • Emergency-response
  • Fatality