Do Females Have Worse Outcomes in Penetrating Trauma: A Single-Center Analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The Journal of surgical research






Female; GSW; Gender equity; Penetrating trauma; Trauma care


INTRODUCTION: Penetrating trauma occurs less frequently in females than in males. Studies on penetrating injuries are conducted in predominantly male populations. We aim to elucidate the demographics and outcomes of penetrating trauma specifically in females to mitigate disparities of care in females. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of hospitalized adult trauma patients suffering penetrating trauma from 2015 to 2021 was performed in an urban American College of Surgeon-verified level 1 trauma center. Patients were stratified by sex (females or males) and mechanism of injury (gun-related versus nongun-related). The primary outcome was mortality, and secondary outcomes included incidence of blood transfusion, incidence of surgical/interventional radiology (IR) interventions, hospital length of stay (LOS), and complications. Descriptive statistics were employed with a significance defined as P value <0.05. A multivariate logistic regression was used to determine the impact of sex on mortality, surgical/IR interventions, and hospital LOS. RESULTS: Females with penetrating injury had lower Injury Severity Score (1 versus 4, P < 0.05) than males, but had similar mortality rates (4% versus 6%, P = 0.06). In multivariable logistic analysis adjusting for age and Injury Severity Score, while females experience 33% fewer OR/IR intervention, there was no statistically significant difference in mortality rates, hospital LOS, and complication rates between males and females. CONCLUSIONS: Despite receiving fewer surgical/IR intervention, females with penetrating injuries have similar outcomes to their male counterparts. Further study is needed to study this discrepancy.