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Am J Public Health. 1983 Jul;73(7):746-51.

Northeastern Ohio trauma study: I. Magnitude of the problem.


This study measured the incidence of cause-specific trauma in the Cleveland and Lorain-Elyria Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs), population 2.2 million, as reported to hospital emergency departments (ED). Cases were selected according to a stratified probability sampling plan (N = 9268). The participating hospitals accounted for 97.6 per cent of 903,346 ED visits in 1977; 52 per cent of these visits were for trauma (ICDA-8 E800-E999). The trauma incidence rate was 197 per 1,000 population. The six leading causes of injury were: falls, 24.4 per cent; cut/piercing injury, 14.2 per cent; striking or struck by object, 13.8 per cent; motor vehicle collisions (MVC), 11.6 per cent; overexertion/strain, 8.2 per cent; and assault, 4.3 per cent. Only falls, MVCs, and assaults were leading causes of both injury and death. The injury incidence rates for vehicular crashes and assault were 1.4 and 3.8 times higher, respectively, than the official incidence rates for these SMSAs. These differences point to a significant underreporting of data needed for public health decision making. Because data were not collected on cases treated outside the participating hospitals, the incidence rates reported here represent a conservative estimate of the magnitude of the problem.

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