On 18 September at 14:00 Sten Saar will defend his doctoral thesis „Epidemiology of severe injuries in Estonia“.
Supervisors: Professor Peep Talving (Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tartu) and Professor Urmas Lepner (Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tartu).
Opponent: Professor Ari Leppäniemi (University of Helsinki, Finland).
Traumatic deaths contribute to more years of life lost globally compared to cancer and cardiac related deaths combined (Trunkey 1983). It is estimated, that after every six seconds someone deceases secondary to an injury accounting for more than five million trauma related deaths every year (WHO 2015). Injury-related deaths in Estonia are among highest in the European Union (Eurosafe 2013, 2014, 2016).
The current thesis investigated severely injured patients in Estonia with severe injury defined per worldwide utilized anatomical score Injury Severity Score. Severely injured patients are admitted to the North Estonia Medical Centre or Tartu University Hospital representing Level I trauma centers in Estonia. Outcomes in the management of severely injured patients are similar between Estonian trauma centers. Estonian trauma system has developed significantly in time comparing early independence and recent years. Demographic profile and overall mortality is comparable with other European trauma centers. Highest proportion of severely injured patients die on scene showing the importance of prevention. Most frequent cause of death is head injuries followed by bleeding related deaths. Motor-vehicle accidents are the leading mechanism of injury after traumatic deaths. A very high proportion of patients have a positive blood alcohol level in the moment of death warranting continuous national preventive measures.