Objective: To examine the causes of traumatic death in a northern region of Ontario.
Methods: Prevalence study of trauma deaths occurring within the region of Northeastern Ontario over the years 1989-1991; regional data were compared with provincial data.
Results: 1,027 patient records were identified over the study period (51.4 deaths per 100,000 population/year). Non-intentional trauma accounted for 70% of all trauma deaths in the region; suicide (25%; 12.8/100,000) and homicide (5%; 2.4/100,000) were less common. Motorized vehicle trauma accounted for most of the non-intentional traumatic death (39%; 20.4/100,000). Age-standardized mortality ratios were 67% above the provincial average for non-intentional trauma, 71% above the provincial average for suicides, 55% above the provincial average for homicides, and 68% higher for all forms of traumatic death.
Conclusions: Traumatic death is a major health problem in northern areas; reduction of these rates depends on the development of an effective injury prevention strategy.