Aims: To characterise the temporal trends and urban-rural distribution of fatal injuries in Scotland through the analysis of mortality data collected by the National Records of Scotland. Methods: The prospectively collected NRS database was queried using ICD-10 codes for all Scottish trauma deaths during the period 2000 to 2011. Patients were divided into pre-hospital and in-hospital groups depending on the location of death. Incidence was plotted against time and linear regression was used to identify temporal trends. Results: A total of 13,100 deaths were analysed. There were 4755 (36.3%) patients in the pre-hospital group with a median age (IQR) of 42 (28-58) years. The predominant cause of pre-hospital death related to vehicular injury (27.8%), which had a decreasing trend over the study period (p = 0.004). In-hospital, patients had a median age of 80 (58-88) years and the majority (67.0%) of deaths occurred following a fall on the level. This trend was shown to increase over the decade of study (p = 0.020). In addition, the incidence of urban incidents remained static, but the rate of rural fatal trauma decreased (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Around a third of Scottish trauma patients die prior to hospital admission and the predominant mechanism of injury is due to road traffic accidents. This contrasts with in-hospital deaths, which are mainly observed in elderly patients following a fall from standing height. Further research is required to determine the preventability of fatal traumatic injury in Scotland.
- Scottish trauma
- Trauma epidemiology