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Last Updated: 10/02/01

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Pediatric Injury

Rausch, T. K., Sanddal, N. D., Sanddal, T. L., & Esposito, T. J. (1998) Changing Epidemiology of injury-related pediatric mortality in a rural state: Implications for injury control. Pediatric Emergency Care, 14(6), 388-92.


OBJECTIVE:  To document current epidemiology of pediatric injury-related deaths in a rural state and evaluate changes over time.

METHODS:  Retrospective review of injury-related deaths in children < 15 occurring in Montana, 1989-1992. Data were obtained from death certificates, coroner, autopsy, prehospital and hospital records. Analysis of mechanism of injury, age, gender, race, location of incident, toxicology, and safety device use. Comparison was made to analogous data collected from an earlier time period.

RESULTS: Of 121 cases reviewed, 56% were male, 44% female; mean age was 7.0 years: 81% Caucasian, 16% Native American. Leading cause of injury was motor vehicle crashes, followed by drowning, unintentional firearm injuries, deaths related to house fires, homicides, and suicides. Overall, 87% of injuries were unintentional: 13% were intentional, with 62% of these suicides and 38% homicides. When considered independently of intent, firearm-related injuries ranked second. Comparison of deaths, unintentional firearm injury deaths, and deaths of motor vehicle occupants.

CONCLUSION: The epidemiology of rural pediatric injury-related deaths has changed. Violent deaths related to injuries caused by firearms are at a magnitude approaching all other causes. These finding have implications for injury control strategies in rural areas.


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