Suicide attempts in Spain according to prehospital healthcare emergency records.

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To analyze the number and characteristics of suicide attempts by reviewing records of the public emergency healthcare service information system. A retrospective observational study was conducted of emergency telephone calls received between January 1 2007 and December 31 2013 throughout the Andalusia region (Southern Spain). Cases were selected based on phone operator or healthcare team labeling. Data were analyzed on the characteristics of the individuals, the timing and severity of attempts, their prioritization, and their outcome. Between January 1 2007 and December 31 2013, 20.942 calls related to suicide attempts were recorded, a rate of 34.7 attempts per 100,000 inhabitants. Most cases were classified by the public emergency healthcare service (Empresa Pública de Emergencias Sanitarias, EPES) as code X84 (The International Statistical Classification of Diseases, tenth revision, ICD-10) or 305(The International Statistical Classification of Diseases, ninth revision, ICD-9). Attempts were more frequent in the 35-49-year age group and there were similar proportions of males and females. The lowest number of calls for suicide attempts were in 2007 and the highest in 2013. Calls were more frequent during the summer months, at weekends, and between 16:00 and 23:00 h. The likelihood of evacuation to the hospital emergency department was almost two-fold lower in over 65-yr-olds than in younger individuals. Significant (ƿ = 0.001) gender differences were found in call outcome and prioritization. The most influential factor for evacuation to a hospital emergency department was the code assigned by the attending healthcare team. Information obtained from extra-hospital emergency services provides valuable data on the characteristics and timing of calls related to suicide attempts, complementing information from hospital emergency departments or population surveys. There is a need to standardize the definition and recording of a suicide attempt.
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