Injury from interpersonal violence is a major social and medical problem in the industrialized world. Little is known about the trends in prevalence and injury pattern or about the demographic characteristics of the patients involved.
In this retrospective analysis, we screened the database of the Emergency Department of a large university hospital for all patients who were admitted for injuries due to interpersonal violence over an 11 year period. For all patients identified, we gathered data on age, country of origin, quality of injury, and hospitalization or outpatient management. A trend analysis was performed using Kendall’s tau-b correlation coefficients for regression analysis.
The overall number of patients admitted to our Emergency Department remained stable over the study period. Non-Swiss nationals were overrepresented in comparison to the demographics of the region where the study was conducted. There was a trend toward a more severe pattern of injury, such as an increase in the number of severe head injuries.
Although the overall number of patients remained stable over the study period, there was an alarming trend toward a more severe pattern of injury, expressed by an increase in severe head traumas.