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One of four youth screen positive for suicide risk in ED; 80% of transgender, gender diverse youth screen positive

emergency room
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Nearly 80% of emergency department encounters involving transgender or gender diverse youth ages 10 and older screened positive for suicide risk while seeking treatment at a Chicago emergency department over a 3.5-year period, according to research presented during the 2023 AAP National Conference & Exhibition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The abstract, "Suicidal Ideation in Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth in the Emergency Department," examines data provided after universal suicide screening was implemented in the Emergency Department for all youth 10 and older who presented at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago between September 2019 and August 2022.

Researchers found that in 24% of 12,112 ED encounters, patients screened positive for . Using the electronic medical record, the author identified that of 565 encounters by transgender and gender diverse youth, positive suicide risk was identified in 78% of encounters, with 10% of encounters by transgender and gender diverse youth endorsing active at the time of ED presentation.

"Unfortunately, these findings did not surprise me as I routinely see transgender and gender diverse youth struggling with their in my practice as a ," said abstract author Amanda Burnside, Ph.D. Attending Pediatric Psychologist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Common contributing factors include bullying and discrimination, and it is imperative that we continue to support these youth."

Compared to cisgender youth, transgender and gender diverse youth were 5.35 times more likely to screen positive for suicide risk.

"We should work to ensure that all youth are routinely screened for suicide risk across every health care setting," Dr. Burnside said. "We need to develop robust systems to connect youth who screen positive with ."

More than 77% of encounters by transgender and gender diverse youth were for a chief complaint centered on mental health, according to the research.

"Caregivers and other supportive adults should routinely check in with transgender and gender diverse youth about their mental health. Any concerns can be brought to the attention of the youth's pediatrician. The National Suicide and Crisis Line is also available as a resource 24/7 by calling 988."

More information: Abstract Title: Suicidal Ideation in Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth in the Emergency Department 

Citation: One of four youth screen positive for suicide risk in ED; 80% of transgender, gender diverse youth screen positive (2023, October 20) retrieved 15 April 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-10-youth-screen-positive-suicide-ed.html
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