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Use of a national trauma registry to target violence reduction initiatives

      Highlights

      • Penetrating trauma has increased in the UK.
      • Violence reduction initiatives are increasingly used to target penetrating trauma.
      • Key demographic information about who is involved, where and when, can help to target violence reduction initiatives.
      • This study demonstrated that the use of a national trauma registry can provide key information with which to target VR initiatives.

      Abstract

      Background

      The incidence of interpersonal violence resulting in penetrating traumatic injury has increased in the UK. Violence reduction initiatives vary across the world, from reactive diversionary schemes to proactive educational intervention. To be successful a collaborative public health approach to violence reduction is vital. We examined regional data collected in a trauma network area as part of mandatory national trauma data submission to establish whether useful data could be extracted from this type of registry to inform regional violence reduction initiatives. Key information required to accurately target initiatives includes: who are the victims? where do incidents occur? and when do incidents occur?

      Methods

      Data were obtained from the national Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN). This study utilised TARN inclusion criteria. Data for penetrating trauma patients from hospital sites in the Severn Major Trauma Network over an eight-year period were included in the analysis (1 June 2012 to 5 April 2020). The data were analysed using SPSS Statistics V27 and TARN analytics software. Existing ethical approval for anonymised registry data (PIAG section 60) was used.

      Results

      Over the eight-year study period, 299 cases of penetrating trauma were registered in the Major Trauma Network. Overall, the incidence of penetrating trauma is increasing (R value +0.470, and +0.900 when 2020 excluded). Male victims account for 87.3% of cases (n=261). Younger individuals are more likely to be victims of penetrating trauma. The proportion of victims aged 13-18 years increased from 0% in 2012 to 21.6% in 2019. There were 43 (14.3%) incidents of victims presenting more than once during the study period. The early evening and hour after midnight had the highest numbers of penetrating trauma incidents. Most incidents occurred in a small proportion of postcodes. All the postcodes identified as having high incidence of penetrating injuries were also areas with high deprivation.

      Conclusion

      This study demonstrated that national trauma registry data can be used to establish valuable information about serious penetrating trauma in a region. This data provides key information with which to target a proactive approach to violence reduction in our region with implications for public health, police, and clinical policymakers.

      Keywords

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