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Children and adolescents deaths from trauma-related causes in a Brazilian City


Abstract Introduction Injury is the first cause of death worldwide in the population aged 1 to 44. In developed countries, the most common trauma-related injuries resulting in death during childhood are traffic accidents, followed by drowning. Methods This retrospective study based on autopsy examinations describes the epidemiology profile of deaths by trauma-related causes in individuals younger than 18 years from 2001 to 2008 in the city of Campinas. The aim is to identify epidemiology changes throughout the years in order to develop strategies of prevention. Results There were 2,170 deaths from all causes in children < 18 years old, 530 of which were due to trauma-related causes, with a male predominance of 3.4:1. The age distribution revealed that 76% of deaths occurred in the 10-17 age group. The most predominant trauma cause was firearm injury (47%). Other frequent causes were transport-related injuries (138 cases-26%; pedestrians were struck in 57.2% of these cases) and drowning (55 cases-10.4%). Asphyxia/suffocation was the cause of death in 72% of cases in children < 1 year old; drowning (30.8%) was predominant in the 1-4 age group; transport-related deaths were frequent in the 5-9 age group (56%) and the 10-14 age group (40.4%). Gun-related deaths were predominant (68%) in the 14-17 age group. 51% of deaths occurred at the scene. Conclusions There was a predominance of deaths in children and adolescents males, between 15-17 years old, mainly from gun-related homicides, and the frequency has decreased since 2004 after the disarmament statute and the combating of violence.

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