Trauma death in a resource constrained setting: Mechanisms and contributory factors, the result of analysing 147 cases

  • GU Ugare
  • IE Bassey
  • JE Udosen
  • W Ndifon
  • R Ndoma-Egba
  • M Asuquo
  • G Undie
Keywords: Causes, factors contributory to death, mechanism of trauma, pattern of injuries, trauma death


Aims and objectives: The objective of the following study is to analyze the trauma type (causes), injury pattern and factors that may have contributed to death within 72 h of admission into our emergency department (E.D).

Materials and Methods: An 18 month prospective observational study, done from April 2009 to September 2010. All the patients were that  admitted for 72 h following a full assessment by the attending clinician were enlisted for the study. The demographic data of each patient, time of arrival at the E.D, type of injury sustained, time of incident, previous care at any peripheral hospital, clinical state of the patient, Glasgow coma scale (GCS), Injury severity score (ISS) and treatment offered before death were entered into a Proforma.

Data Analysis: This was done using EPI-Info statistical programme version 3.4.3 of 2007(by CDC Atlanta Georgia , USA).

Results: A total of 4011 patients were seen in the E.D during the period. 1943 (48.4%), were trauma emergencies, with a (147; 41.4%) mortality. Their ages ranged from 4 to 87 years, with an average of 34.5 years. The male:female ratio was 7:1. The assessed GCS ranged from 6 to 15, with an average of 9.1, the ISS ranged from 9 to 75 with an average of 31.3. Road traffic accidents (RTAs) accounted for 118 (80.3%) of the deaths, assaults 14.3%, falls from height 4.0% and gunshot injuries 1.4%. The overall mortality was 17.1%.
Conclusion: The major source of trauma death was RTA; The most  frequently injured part of the body was head, with death resulting clinically hemorrhage. The 17.1% mortality is multifactorial: The late presentation (in some cases occasioned by interference by persons not knowledgeable in the basics of trauma care) lack of trained personnel and the systemic deficiencies.

Key words: Causes, factors contributory to death, mechanism of trauma, pattern of injuries, trauma death


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-3077