Surveillance of injury-related deaths: medicolegal autopsy rates and trends in Finland
- 1National Public Health Institute, Injury Prevention Unit, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
- 2National Public Health Institute, Injury Prevention Unit, Helsinki, Finland
- Correspondence to: Dr P Lunetta National Public Health Institute, Injury Prevention Unit, Mannerheimintie 166, Helsinki 00300, Finland;
- Accepted 21 December 2006
Medicolegal autopsies are a vital tool for obtaining reliable injury mortality data. In Finland, medicolegal autopsies have increased from 13.6% of all deaths in 1970 to 23.8% in 2004. In fact, medicolegal autopsies are performed in 87.2% of all unintentional injury deaths, 98.3% of homicides and 99.5% of suicides. Finland has exceedingly high medicolegal autopsy rates compared with other countries. Autopsy rates should be appropriately considered when performing international comparisons of injury-related deaths.
Competing interests: None declared.