Use of ShotSpotter detection technology decreases prehospital time for patients sustaining gunshot wounds

Anna Goldenberg*, Deviney Rattigan, Michael Dalton, John P. Gaughan, J. Scott Thomson, Kyle Remick, Christopher Butts, Joshua P. Hazelton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Shorter prehospital time in patients sustaining penetrating trauma has been shown to be associated with improved survival. Literature has also demonstrated that police transport (vs. Emergency Medical Services [EMS]) shortens transport times to a trauma center. The purpose of this study was to determine if ShotSpotter, which triangulates the location of gunshots and alerts police, expedited dispatch and transport of injured victims to the trauma center. METHODS All shootings which occurred in Camden, NJ, from 2010 to 2018 were reviewed. Demographic, geographic, response time, transport time, and field intervention data were collected from medical and police records. We compared shootings where the ShotSpotter was activated versus shootings where ShotSpotter was not activated. Incidents, which did not occur in Camden or where complete data were not available, were excluded as were patients not transported by police or EMS. RESULTS There were 627 shootings during the study period which met inclusion criteria with 190 (30%) activating the ShotSpotter system. Victims involved in shootings with ShotSpotter activation were more severely injured, more likely to be transported by police, less likely to undergo trauma bay resuscitative measures, and more likely to receive blood products. Mortality, when adjusted for distance, Trauma, and Injury Severity Score, Injury Severity Score, and shock index, was not significantly different between ShotSpotter and non-ShotSpotter incidents. ShotSpotter activation significantly reduced both the response time as well as transport time for both police and EMS (all p < 0.05). CONCLUSION The activation of the ShotSpotter technology increased the likelihood of police transport of gunshot victims. Furthermore, the use of this technology resulted in shorter response times as well as transport times for both police and EMS. This technology may be beneficial in enhancing the care of victims of penetrating trauma. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Therapeutic/Care management, level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1259
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • ShotSpotter
  • gunshot wounds
  • penetrating trauma
  • police transport
  • transport time in trauma


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of ShotSpotter detection technology decreases prehospital time for patients sustaining gunshot wounds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this