Review of road traffic accident admissions in a Nigerian tertiary hospital
Background: Road traffic accident remains a leading cause of trauma and admissions to the accidents and emergency units of most hospitals. The aim of this study was to determine the pattern and epidemiological characteristics of trauma admissions to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital.
Methods: This was a retrospective review of hospital charts of all patients admitted as a result of RTA injuries between October 2001 and December 2005 and whose records were available and complete. A special data form was used to collect the required information using admission data from the casualty and various hospital wards .Data was subjected to simple statistical analysis.
Results: There were 379 cases managed during the study period, 355 of these had complete records and therefore formed the basis of this study. A total of 47.3% were in the third and fourth decades of life, with a mean age of 32 years. The male to female ratio was 2.5:1. The months of July, April and September recorded the highest admissions of RTA, (11.5%, 10.7% and 10.7% respectively).Head injuries, femoral fractures, spinal injuries, and tibia and/or fibular fractures were the most common injuries sustained. Isolated injuries were seen in 79.4% while 20.6 % of the patients had multiple injuries. The mortality rate was 6.8%.
Conclusion: Trauma is an established cause of requiring emergency care and hospital admissions and since the cost of trauma care is enormous. Implementation of road safety legislation will be of tremendous help in reducing road traffic injuries.