The Epidemiology of Non-Traumatic Prehospital Sudden Death inSplit-DalmatiaCounty

Jure Aljinović, Katarina Novak, Lina Mirić, Leo Grandić, Nenad Kunac, Valdi Pešutić Pisac



The aim of this study was to determine epidemiology of non-traumatic prehospital sudden adult deaths in Split-Dalmatia County from 2000. to 2005. The following information were collected from autopsy reports in the archives of University Hospital Split: gender of deceased, birth date, date of death, location of death, immediate cause of death, previously diagnosed diseases that might lead to terminal outcome. There were 160 non-traumatic prehospital sudden adult deaths in the observed period, with 104 (65%) male and 56 (35%) female autopsies performed. Diseases of cardiovascular system were the main cause of death, responsible for 95 (59.37%) sudden deaths, followed by diseases of respiratory system (14.37%) and central nervous system (8.12%). The most frequent cause of non-traumatic sudden death was myocardial infarction, found in 50 cases. July and September were the months of the most frequent occurrence of sudden death. In this study it was confirmed that sudden death incidence increases with age, with almost half of all deaths occurring in people between ages of 61-80. The result that a fifth of all sudden deaths occurred in people aged 51-60 is troubling and potentially preventable. The most frequent location of death was deceased’s place of residence (n=29), followed by the ambulance vehicle (n=17). In conclusion, this is the first publication describing the incidence of prehospital sudden non-traumatic adult death in Split-Dalmatia County. Causes of sudden death and its incidence are in accordance with World Health Organization’s information on general causes of death in Croatia and Western Europe5.



non-traumatic prehospital sudden death, sudden cardiac death, epidemiology, Split, Dalmatia

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