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Incidence of penetrating trauma in Copenhagen from 2000 to 2007


Interpersonal violence with sharp objects and arms is relatively rare in Denmark, but has been the focus of attention from the media and general population.

This study describes the incidence of penetrating trauma treated by the Medical Emergency Care Unit in Copenhagen (MECU) from 2000 to 2007.


The study is a historical cohort study with a 30-day follow-up. Patients with a primary diagnosis of penetrating trauma were included. In addition, patients with penetrating trauma as a secondary diagnosis were also included, if the primary diagnosis was multi-trauma, cardiac arrest, or the patient was found dead.

Only patients from the former H:S area were included. The physician manning the MECU prospectively registered data in an access database. Mortality after 30 days was later assessed via the Danish Civil Registry System.

The incidences were assessed by Poisson regression and we used logistic regression to analyse the risk of mortality in relation to the number of penetrating traumas. P < 0.05 was considered significant.


764 patients were eligible for inclusion. We were unable to identify three patients without a Civil Registration System number. Of the remaining 761 patients, 86% were male with a median (interquartile range) age of 32 years (24 – 42). 12 foreigners could only be followed to hospital discharge.

The annual incidence of penetrating trauma remained unchanged at a median (interquartile range) 93 (88 – 105) (p = 0.39). The percentages of trauma caused by violence, as well as 30-day mortality (median 6 per year), revealed no significant change (p = 0.71 and p = 0.65 respectively).


The incidence of penetrating trauma remained constant in Copenhagen during the years 2000 – 2007. Violence as well as 30-day mortality in relation to penetrating trauma was equally consistent.

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Correspondence to Kamilia S Funder.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Funder, K.S., Petersen, J.A., Christensen, K.B. et al. Incidence of penetrating trauma in Copenhagen from 2000 to 2007. Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med 17 (Suppl 2), O1 (2009).

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