• Vol. 43 No. 3, 170–176
  • 15 March 2014

A 10-Year Profile of Trauma Admissions Caused by Interpersonal Violence: A Major Trauma Centre’s Experience



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Introduction: This study aimed to characterise interpersonal violence victims admitted to a major trauma centre.

Materials and Methods: A retrospective cohort study of interpersonal violence victims who were admitted to our centre from 1 January 2001 to 31 December 2010 was conducted. Data were obtained from our trauma registry.

Results: Interpersonal violence victims constituted 444 (90.1% males and 9.9% females) out of a total of 8561 trauma admissions in the same time period. The average age was 36.6 years (range, 14 to 83 years). Majority were Chinese (53.4%) and Singaporeans (77.3%). The number of cases increased from 10 per year to 96 per year in the fi rst 8 years, then decreased in the last 2 years (55 in year 2010). Time of injury was predominantly 0000 to 0559 hours (72.3%). Interpersonal violence mostly occurred in public spaces for both genders (88.7%). However, the number of females who were injured at home was significantly higher than males (P = 0.000). Blunt trauma (58.3%) was more common than penetrating trauma (41.7%). The average injury severity score (ISS) was 13.5 (range, 1 to 75); 34.9% of patients had major trauma (ISS >15). The average Glasgow coma scale (GCS) score was 13.5 (range, 3 to 15); 16.4% of patients had moderate-to-severe brain injury (GCS 3-8). Blunt trauma was significantly more likely to cause major trauma than penetrating trauma (P = 0.003). The sole case of fi rearm assault caused most morbi-mortality. Overall mortality was 4.5%. Major trauma (OR: 25.856; P = 0.002) and moderate-to-severe brain injury (OR: 7.495; P = 0.000) were independent risk factors of mortality.

Conclusion: There has been no prior published data on interpersonal violence locally. This study is thus useful as preliminary data for future population-based studies. It also provides data for authorities to formulate preventive and intervention strategies.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has divided violence into 3 categories: interpersonal violence, self-directed violence, and collective violence. Violence is defined as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.” Interpersonal violence can be categorised into violence against family (victimisation of the elderly, children, spouse, siblings, parents, etc.), and violence against members of the community who may be acquaintances or strangers (workplace assault, rape, assaults, etc.). Globally, it accounts for 10% of deaths, which translates to about half a million deaths a year. In Singapore, about 5000 cases are recorded by the Singapore Police Force annually.

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