Suicide Attempts and Adolescents: The Need for Specialized Resources at Adult Trauma Centers

Author(s): Stefanie Soelling, Deepika Koganti, Ivan Padilla, Michael Goodman, Priya Prakash, Randi Smith*

Journal Name: Adolescent Psychiatry

Volume 10 , Issue 3 , 2020

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Background: Suicide is the second leading cause of adolescent death and suicide attempts outnumber deaths 50:1 for adolescents 15 to 19 years of age. This study examines differences in outcomes between adolescents and adults treated at an adult trauma center in an effort to guide recovery and prevention strategies following an adolescent suicide attempt.

Methods: Retrospective review of patients aged ≥14 years treated at an urban, Level 1 trauma center for self-inflicted injuries between 2009 and 2018 was performed. The cohort was divided into adolescents (14-19 years) and adults (≥20 years) and into group A (economically distressed) and group B (non-distressed). Demographics, injury, outcomes, and geospatial analysis were compared.

Results: Among 723 patients, 60 (8%) were adolescents of which 92% were male, 55% black, 47% blunt injuries, and 53% penetrating. In adults, 76% were male, 41% black, 28% blunt injuries, and 72% penetrating. Mortality estimates for adolescents and adults were 35% and 24%, respectively (p=0.09). Most adolescent deaths occurred within 3 days after admission, while adult deaths occurred further into hospitalization (p<0.01). Cox regression analysis found higher mortality with self-pay compared to private insurance (HR 2.6; p<0.001), and penetrating vs. blunt/other injuries (HR 2.4; p<0.001). Psychiatric care was administered in 64% of adolescents (n=39) and 84% of adults (p< 0.01).

Conclusion: Inpatient psychiatric care for adolescents who attempted suicide was limited at an adult trauma center. The high incidence of suicide attempts and community-level distress in adolescents require immediate attention and resources.

Keywords: Adolescents, disparities, distressed communities index, prevention, suicide, trauma.

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Article Details

Year: 2020
Published on: 21 December, 2020
Page: [182 - 193]
Pages: 12
DOI: 10.2174/2210676610999200727095605
Price: $65

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