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Severe multiple injuries after suicide attempts: population-based epidemiologic study in Navarre, Spain, between 2004 and 2005

Belzunegui Otano T, Teijeira Álvarez R, Reyero Díez D, Oteiza Olaso J

Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. Instituto Anatómico Forense, Gobierno de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. UVI-Móvil del Servicio Navarro de Salud, Pamplona, Spain. Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

We to study the epidemiologic characteristics of patients with multiple injuries after
attempted suicide who were treated by the emergency health system of Navarre
between 2004 and 2005. The patients that had 1 or more severe injuries from
mechanical force after a suicide attempt were included. The injuries were life-threatening
or could be the cause of severe complications or sequelae. An inclusion criterion was a
New Injury Severity Score (NISS) of more than 15, or death. The annual incidence of
such injuries was 5.7 per 100 000 population. The ratio of men to women was 3:1. In
order of frequency, the most common methods were jumping from a high place,
jumping in front of an oncoming train, and gunshot. Eighty percent of the patients died.
The mean age was 50 years. Jumping from heights was chosen most often by both men
and women, but men also chose the other methods (train and gunshot) more often
than women. The mean NISS was 37 points. We conclude that the incidence of violent
suicide is low in Navarre. Mortality is high because of the severity of injuries caused by
the methods chosen mainly by men. Women mainly choose jumping from heights
whereas men use additional methods.

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