Epidemiology of Severe Injury in a Nigerian Hospital
Objectives: To identify the aetiology and outcome of severe injuries Method: A retrospective study of accidental injuries. Results: Over a consequtive 12 month period, 54 patients with severe injuries (ISS > 15) were seen. There were 35 males and 19 females with a mean age of 33 years and mean ISS of 21. The aetiology of injury was road traffic accident in 50 patients representing 92.6% of the cohort. Fall, gunshot injury and explosion injury occurred in a patient each. Multiple injuries occurred in 32 patients, the lower limbs alone were injured in 10. Head injury occurred in 5, the upper limbs alone and the back were injured in 2 patients each. Death occurred in 31.5% of patients, from multiple injuries in 13 of the 17 patients (76.5%) that died. 33% of the passengers died while 16.7% of drivers and 50% of pedestrians also died. The ISS among those that died ranged from 17 to 40, mean 24.4 There is no significant difference in mortality from types of injury and the time of day that injuries occurred. Conclusion: Road traffic accident especially motor vehicle crashes are a common cause of severe injury. Mortality from severe injury is high and it results mostly from multiple injuries.
Keywords: epidemiology, accidental injury, severe injury, road traffic accident, mortality, injury severity score
Nigerian Journal of Orthopaedics and Trauma Vol. 6 (2) 2007: pp. 67-69