Increased risk of fatal paediatric injuries in rural Northern Norway
Methods - The study was based on 4 national registries. Mortality and injury rates were calculated per 100 000 persons per year. The study population was divided into age groups; 0‐5, 6‐10, 11‐15 and 16‐17 years.
Results - Between 1998‐2007 and 2008‐2015 there was an overall decrease in paediatric mortality rate due to external causes in Norway in total from 7.1 to 4.0. Despite this, in 2008‐2015, the mortality rate remained 2.5 times higher in Finnmark than in Norway (9.7, RR = 2.5 CI 1.4‐4.3, P = 0.001), similar to findings for 1998‐2007. Finnmark had half the rate of non‐fatal injuries in 1999‐2007 (5052, RR = 0.6, 95% CI 0.6‐0.7, P < 0.001) and in 2008‐2015 (3893, RR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.5‐0.6, P < 0.001) as in Norway. The rate of trauma team activation was similar in Finnmark and Norway.
Conclusions - The risk of injury‐related death remained significantly higher, while the overall risk of non‐fatal injury was significantly reduced for children in rural Northern Norway. Thus, injuries in this rural area seem to be less frequent but more severe. There is a need for detailed examination of each death to determine possible preventive measures.