Motorcycle injuries in north-central Nigeria
AbstractBackground: The increasing use of commercial motorcycle as mode of transportation in urban cities in Nigeria has become important source of morbidity and mortality. This is coupled with poor helmet use, narrow roads, increasing traffic, and poor licensing of the motorcycle riders. The objectives of this study are to determine the pattern of injuries following accident involving motorcycles, the mortality rate, and the immediate causes of mortality.
Materials and Methods: This is a combined retrospective and prospective study spanning over 2 years (1 year each). Patient’s records were retrieved to collate data for the retrospective study while all the patients presenting to the casualty unit of Jos University Teaching Hospital following involvement in motorcycle accidents between April 2006 and March 2007 were selected for the study.
Results: Out of 485 motorcycle injured patients, 295 and 190 were recruited from the retrospective and prospective study respectively. The male: female (M: F) ratio was 4.8:1. The ages ranged from 2.5 to 84 years with a peak at 21-30 years. The total number of injuries was 559 with 443 patients singly injured and 42 patients multiply traumatized. Head injury (40.1%) was the most frequently occurring injury followed closely by extremity injuries (38.1%). None of the patients wore protective helmet. Thirty-six (36) mortalities (7.4%) were recorded and all dead patients had head injuries. All deaths occurred within 24 h.
Conclusions: Head injury represents a common cause of morbidity and mortality following motorcycle injuries in our environment. Therefore, strict enforcement of helmet laws from May 10, 2010 may reduce morbidity and mortality.