Collecting such data and following the trend in diving fatalities in a region can be important for both tourist management and the development of specific risk control selleck kinase inhibitor strategies. Therefore, the aim of this article is to offer a retrospective analysis of fatal diving incidents in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County (northern Croatian littoral) of Croatia
between 1980 and 2010 in order to determine the demographic characteristics of diving casualties and their secular trend with special emphasis to differences between local divers and tourists. Medico-legal aspects of death in divers were investigated through a retrospective analysis of autopsies carried out at the Department of Forensic Medicine and
Criminalistics, Rijeka University School of Medicine, Croatia between 1980 and 2010. The Department has universal coverage over the territory of two counties, the Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Lika-Senj. The Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, with a population of 300,000 people, encompasses part of the northern Croatian littoral with its islands, and is home to many interesting diving points, which makes diving accidents and fatalities more susceptible in this area. The analysis covered a period of 31 years (1980–2010) and included a total of 47 consecutive Selleck PLX3397 cases of diver deaths. The necessary pathological and biological data were retrieved from medico-legal reports and death certificates, while data regarding the circumstances and conditions which resulted in the fatal outcome were retrieved from police reports of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The variables analyzed in this study included the biological profile
of the victims (age and sex), the year and month of death, type of diving (scuba diving/ free-diving), diving Adenosine triphosphate organization (diving in a group or alone), nationality of the diver (resident or tourist), and presence of any preexisting pathological condition in the victim. The deaths were analyzed by calculating the frequency of their occurrence with regard to specific variables. While investigating temporal changes in the frequency of diving fatalities, the studied period was divided into three decades and two major periods: before and after the year 1996, that is considered to be the year that diving tourism in Croatia took off. Variations between the groups and the frequencies were analyzed with a difference test between the two proportions and a Mann–Whitney test. Results of p < 0.05 were considered statistically significant. In the period between 1980 and 2010, a total of 47 deaths in divers were registered. Most of the victims in the study were male (44/47, 93.6%). The victims fall into the young and middle-aged age group, with the majority of them between 20 and 29 years (28.3%), and 30 to 39 years (28.