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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

GAWRYSZEWSKI, Vilma Pinheiro et al. Violence-related injury in emergency departments in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.6, pp. 400-408. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008001200004.

OBJECTIVE: This article describes the characteristics of violence-related injury (VRI) cases presenting at emergency departments (EDs) in Brazil and compares circumstances for assault-related and self-inflicted cases. METHODS: The study is cross-sectional. The data describe cases seen in September 2006 in 62 EDs, representing all 26 states and the Federal District. A total of 4 835 case records were analyzed. Basic statistical tabulations were complemented by logistic regression analysis to assess potential associations between type of violence (assault or self-harm) and multiple factors. RESULTS: Males comprised 72.8% of cases while those aged 20 to 29 comprised 35.4%. Alcohol use was reported or suspected in 42.7% of cases, more commonly among males. Assault victims comprised 91.4% of cases versus self-inflicted injuries, which accounted for 8.6%. Three-fourths of the assault victims were male, while over half of the self-inflicted injury victims were female. The leading mechanism for assaults was physical force/blunt objects (46.2%), whereas poisoning was the predominant mechanism for self-inflicted injuries (71.4%). Younger females were significantly more likely to have been victims of self-inflicted injuries than younger males, while younger males were more likely to have been victims of assault; this finding is more pronounced in cases where alcohol use was reported. Self-inflicted injuries were significantly more likely to occur in residences, while assaults were more likely to occur away from home. CONCLUSION: These results can improve understanding of the scope and characteristics of VRIs in Brazil (and thus contribute to national injury prevention efforts), and help identify areas for future research.

Keywords : Emergency medical services; violence; aggression; suicide; Brazil.

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