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Bony injuries in trauma patients diagnosed by radiological examination

G Amponsah
PN Gorleku


Objective: This study was carried out to determine the incidence of bony injuries in trauma patients who had plain radiographs done at the Central Regional Hospital in Cape Coast.
Design: This is a retrospective study based on plain radiographs taken by trauma patients who reported to the Central Regional Hospital.
Method: The case notes of all patients with a discharge diagnosis of Road Traffic Accident or trauma of all aetiologies that presented to the hospital between January 2005 and December 2011 were retrieved, and those patients that had skeletal radiographic examinations were included in this study.
Results: The total number of cases seen was 1,133. The ages of the patients ranged between 1 and 72 years. Sixty-nine (6.1%) of the patients were between 1 and 4 years old, with the majority between 20 and 49 years old, constituting 52.3%, with patients 60 years and above at 9.2%. There was statistically significant difference between male and female patients (p=0.001). A total of 912 (80.5%) patients had radiographic examination done out of which only 324 (35.5%) radiographs could be retrieved. There were 106 (32.7%) radiographs with various bony injuries which was statistically significant (p=0.001). Rib fractures represented 19/106 (17.9%) of which 62.5% had multiple rib fractures. Fifty-eight (54.7%) had long bone fractures. Other anatomical sites included the pelvis and the skull.
Conclusion: Trauma is a major public health problem in the country, involving mainly the productive age group. Unnecessary exposure to X-rays is common. Inadequate management of trauma patients negatively impacts on the outcome of trauma patients. Trauma prevention is the best way forward.

Keywords: trauma, road traffic accident, bony injuries, radiological investigations

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print ISSN: 0016-9560