The mortality rate due to road traffic accidents is 11.3 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants during 1994 in the area; morbidity incidence (per 100,000 inhabitants) we estimate to be 1,170 arrivals to first-aid centers and 263 hospitalizations during 1997. The cases at General Hospital "Umberto I" during 1997 represent about one-third of the whole area. In severe cases (ISS > 16) 15-29 year-old males account for modal value; women are concentrated at elder age, and males represent 72% of the total number. Vehicle type and sex are determinants of the risk of severe trauma. There is a strong linear relationship between age, severity, and lethality rate (R² = 0.88), but severity is the variable that plays the major role on lethality. These variables (age, severity, and lethality rate) are crucial to define death risk. Most deaths occur within the early 24 hours of hospitalization. Lethality reflects a system failure phenomenon with critical points at 24 hours and after 7 days since the accident.
Keywords: AIS-ISS; Clinical Epidemiology; Injury Severity; Road-Traffic Accidents; Severity Scores; Trauma Lethality