Paediatric stabbings are on the increase in the United Kingdom, especially in large urban centres such as London. Many London trauma centres are reporting a significant annual rise in the cases of penetrating trauma. Studies have shown victims with a lower socioeconomic status have an increased risk of paediatric penetrating trauma. Our study aims to determine if high depravity of an area increases the risk of paediatric stabbings in west London. We hypothesize that more deprived areas are likely to have a higher incidence of paediatric stabbings.Methods
A retrospective review of data from the emergency department at a major trauma centre in west London was conducted using patient <18 years with a stabbing injury between March 2015 – July 2017. Gender, age, incident postcode and home postcode were collected. Socioeconomic status was measured using the 2015 English index of multiple deprivation (IMD). Incident and home postcode were matched to an IMD decile, with 1 being the most deprived. Data was analyzed using SPSS© Statistics 24.
174 cases were included. 97.7% of the cases were male and median age was 16 years. The location of the stabbings had a median IMD score of 3 (IQR = 3). IMD decile from incident location and frequency of stabbing were strongly negatively associated (r=-0.85 p=0.002) (Fig 1). The victim’s home location showed a similar trend with a median IMD score of 3 (IQR = 3). Again, they were strongly negatively associated (r=-0.85 p= 0.002).Conclusion
Paediatric stabbings are more likely to occur in areas of high depravity and in victims with more deprived background. To prevent paediatric stabbings, a multifactorial approach is required to increase the socioeconomic status of these areas.
Figure 1: Location of Paediatric Stabbings in relation to IMD Decile