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Inj Prev. 2007 Aug;13(4):282-4.

Surveillance of injury-related deaths: medicolegal autopsy rates and trends in Finland.

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  • 1National Public Health Institute, Injury Prevention Unit, Helsinki, Finland.


Medicolegal autopsies are a vital tool for obtaining reliable injury mortality data. In Finland, medicolegal autopsies have increased from 13.6% of all deaths in 1970 to 23.8% in 2004. In fact, medicolegal autopsies are performed in 87.2% of all unintentional injury deaths, 98.3% of homicides and 99.5% of suicides. Finland has exceedingly high medicolegal autopsy rates compared with other countries. Autopsy rates should be appropriately considered when performing international comparisons of injury-related deaths.

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