Taehan Ŭnggup Ŭihakhoe chi; Journal of the Korean Society of Emergency Medicine; 대한응급의학회지
Purpose: This study was conducted to assess the frequency and severity of upper extremity injuries in Korea through a retrospective epidemiological study.
Methods: For this study, we retrospectively reviewed nation-wide upper extremity injury data compiled from 2001 to 2003 from the National Injury Database, which includes the National Health Insurance Corporation (NHIC), Car Insurance, and Industry Insurance. NHIC consists of the medical aid population, the self-employed insured population and the employer-insured population. Data was standardized in terms of demographic characteristics, region and socioeconomic status by NHIC. To assess the degree of the injuries, we used the International Classification of Disease-10 (ICD-10) code and the Modified Abbreviated Injury Scale (MoAIS). Afterwards, we classified the degree of the severity into 4-four categories-mild, moderate, severe and critical- using the Excess Mortality Ratio-adjusted Injury Severity Score (EMR-ISS).
Results: Frequency of cases of upper extremity injuries per 1,000,000 persons was 58,663, and the incidence rate is 26.9% of total injuries. In fact, the incidence rate remained stable. Yet, there was a steady increase in total injuries from 2001 to 2003. Injuries in men outnumbered women regardless of the severity. In terms of severity, mortality was higher for the elderly aged 60 and over. The Seoul and Kyeonggi-areas showed the highest incidence rate while Jeju was the lowest. Furthermore, injuries were more frequent among the medical aid population. The daily incidence rate for non-critical cases was higher in the months of June, September and October.
Conclusion: The data indicated that upper extremity injuries comprised a major portion of all injuries. Moreover, the result were affected by differences in gender, location and socioeconomic status. All in all, it is critical that sophisticated research and clinical data be compiled in order to develop more effective prevention strategies.
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