Study objective: Road crashes are the leading cause of death for young adults in industrialized countries. In most countries, the only data available are the police-based statistics, which report the number of deaths and injuries, without any information about severity or diagnosis. We describe the results of an emergency department (ED)-based integrated surveillance system of road-crash health consequences in the Lazio region (5.3 million inhabitants) for 2000. Methods: We identified all ED visits in the emergency database and then linked them with hospital discharges and mortality registry. Deaths that occurred at the site of the crash were identified in the mortality registry. Cases are classified according to body region affected, nature of the injury, and severity. Results: We found 146,600 cases, for an overall incidence of 2,700 per 100,000 and a peak of 8,000 per 100,000 in 20- to 24-year-old men. There were 597 fatalities for men and 205 female fatalities, with an overall mortality of 15.9 per 100.000 and a hospitalization rate of 224 per 100,000. Conclusion: Our surveillance system reported a 6-times-higher incidence of road-traffic injuries, with 139 more fatalities than the national statistics of the same year. The underreporting in police reports and the absence of diagnostic information reveal the need for health-based surveillance systems of road-traffic injuries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine