East African Orthopaedic Journal

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Is the pedestrian an endangered group of road users? A descriptive account of pedestrian injuries

JWM Kigera, EK Naddumba


Background: Trauma is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Africa. Road traffic crashes are causative in majority of these cases. Pedestrians are vulnerable to injury in all types of collisions. This paper examines the injuries sustained by pedestrians.
Design: Prospective study.
Setting: Mulago Hospital, the National Referral Hospital in Uganda.
Patients and Methods: We prospectively recruited all musculoskeletal trauma patients who presented between August and December 2009 to casualty and the emergency ward and identified the patient characteristics and the nature of injuries sustained.
Results: Road Traffic Crashes (RTC’s) were the leading cause of trauma and pedestrians were involved in 40% of all RTC’s. Motor vehicles and motorcycles were responsible for almost equal number of cases involving pedestrians. Pedestrians were younger than other R TC victims and sustained majority of the injuries over the weekend. The lower limbs were the commonest site of injury with fractures of the tibia and fibula being the commonest injury.
Conclusions: Pedestrians are vulnerable to injury in road traffic crashes and are bearing the brunt of these injuries. There is need to educate pedestrians on essentials of safety on the roads. Motorists and cyclists should also be sensitised on respect for other road users. There is a need for pedestrian walkways to reduce pedestrian injuries.

East African Orthopaedic Journal, Vol. 4: September 2010
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