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Revista Colombiana de Cirugía

Print version ISSN 2011-7582
On-line version ISSN 2619-6107


BEJARANO CASTRO, Mónica et al. Characterization of patients with lesions of violent traumatic origin by means of an epidemiologic surveillance system. rev. colomb. cir. [online]. 2006, vol.21, n.3, pp.180-189. ISSN 2011-7582.

Introduction: Trauma of violent cause is a major public health problem that severely affects the health and social and economic development of vast sectors of the population. Materials and methods: An Epidemiologic Surveillance System was created at Hospital Mario Correa Rengifo in Medellín, Colombia, based on the institutional medical records, in order to analyze and thus identify pertinent variables for the purpose of defining the patterns of trauma and violence in the community. Results: 5,236 subjects were registered in the period November 2003 through December 2005; 5,171 (99.4%) were older than one year and 72.1% were of the male sex; 52.0% of injuries occurred in public ways, 32.8% at homes, and 7.5% at the workplace. Activities that most frequently led to injuries were: recreational (33.0%), personal tasks (15.4%), and alcohol abuse (14.4%). Using the Revised Trauma Score as indicator of severity of the injury, we found that 97.5% were of slight nature, 2.3% were of moderate nature, and 0.2% were of severe nature. Disposition of patients was utilized as the criterion of evaluation of the magnitude of the lesion: the majority (63.5%) of patients were discharged with home destination following primary emergency room care. Other multiple demographic and social and economic variables were analyzed in this study. Conclusions: Analysis of data obtained from an epidemiologic surveillance system provides bases for the identification of population and geographic areas at risk of trauma and lesions resulting from violent behavior, which are important for further studies oriented towards the design and implementation of preventive measures.

Keywords : wounds and injuries; population surveillance; traffic accidents; violence.

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