Pattern And Outcome Of Road Traffic Accidents In A Suburban Community In Nigeria
Background: There is an increase in the incidence of road traffic accidents in Nigeria, with evidence of poor data from many sub-urban communities.
Objectives: To determine the pattern and outcome of road traffic accidents and their management, with a view to identifying control measures and help reduce morbidity and mortality
Patients and Methods: A retrospective study of cases of Road Traffic Accidents in Ikpoba-Hill (a sub-urban community in Benin City, Nigeria), that were managed at ‘Our Medical Centre” (a private medical facility) was carried out. The period studied was from January 2003 to December, 2007. The demographic characteristics, injuries sustained, time of accident, treatment offered and outcome were analysed. The data were obtained
from the case files of the patients.
Results: A total of 825 patients who had road traffic accidents were studied. The incidence was lowest in year 2003 (17.6%) and higher in year 2007 (23.5%). The 20 – 29 year age group was the most vulnerable (33.0%). About 55.8% were males while 44.1% were females. Students (36.9%), motorcycle riders (19.4%) and business people (12.0%) were mostly involved. Lacerations and abrasions were the commonest injuries
(64.3%) followed by fractures (12.5%). Humerus was the most commonly fractured bone (33.3%), while 24.9% had compound fracture. Road traffic accident was most common between 16.00hrs and 19.00hrs. Mortality rate was 7.0% and the commonest cause of death was head injury (48.3%). Cases of discharge against medical advice constituted 14.7%.
Conclusion: The epidemiology of cases of road traffic accident in this community reveals several areas of prevention. There is the need for health education for the road users to keep to the rules that will ensure road safety. There is also the need to health educate our patients against the common practice of discharge against medical advice as most of the patients studied discharged against medical advise in order to obtain care
from traditional healers.
Keywords: Pattern, outcome of road traffic accidents