Self-inflicted gunshot wounds (SI-GSWs) are often fatal, but roughly 20% of individuals survive. What happens to survivors after the initial hospitalization is unknown. We hypothesized that the SI-GSW survivors are frequently readmitted and that the pattern of readmission is different from that of the survivors of non-GSW self-harm (SH).We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis using the 2013 and 2014 Nationwide Readmission Database. Patients with any diagnosis indicating deliberate SH in the first 6 months of the year were included. This group was divided into those who had SI-GSW as their mechanism and those who did not. Weighted numbers are reported.A total of 1987 patients were admitted for SI-GSW in the study period. Many (n = 506, 26%) experienced at least one readmission in 6 months. When compared with non-GSW SH patients, readmission rates were not statistically different (26% versus 26%, P = 0.60). However, readmissions for repeat SH were lower for the SI-GSW cohort (3% versus 7%, P = 0.004). Readmission for the SI-GSW cohort less frequently had a primary diagnosis of psychiatric illness (28% versus 57%, P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, there was no difference in odds ratios (OR) of all-cause readmission between the two groups. SI-GSW was associated with a lower OR of repeat SH readmission compared with non-GSW SH (OR 0.65, P = 0.039).Readmissions after an SI-GSW are frequent, highlighting the burden of this injury beyond the index hospitalization. There are differences in readmission patterns for SI-GSW patients versus non-GSW SH patients, and this suggests that prevention and follow-up strategies may differ between the two groups.
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