738 hospital stays in 2004 were caused by severe gunshot injuries, but the patient survived. Sixty-five percent of these gunshot injuries were the result of assaults; 25% were the result of accidents; 4% were the result of undetermined intent; 4% were the result of self-inflicted injuries; and 2% were the result of legal intervention.
Another 844 emergency room (ER) visits were caused by gun-related injuries, but the patient survived. In contrast to the severe injuries, most of the ER visits (53%) were the result of accidents; 36% were the result of assaults; 5% were the result of undetermined intent; 4% were the result of legal intervention; and 2% were the result of self-inflicted injuries.
As with death rates, young people face the greatest risk of being injured by gunshots. Of all age groups, those aged 20-24 had the highest gun-related hospitalization rate (47.5 per 100,000) and emergency room rate (50.4 per 100,000) in 2004.
Hospital charges for gun-related injuries totaled more than $39 million in 2004. Almost half (44%) of this total was paid by the Arizona taxpayers through the government programs of AHCCC/Medicaid and Medicare. The $39 million represents only a fraction of the actual cost of gun-related injuries. It does not include costs related to physician care, rehabilitation, lost wages, or the long-term costs of disability, nor does it include the emotional costs to the victim, their family, and friends.