PATTERNS OF TRAUMA IN PATIENT SEEN AT THE EMERGENCY CLINICS OF PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN MEKELLE, NORTHERN ETHIOPIA
Background: Injuries are a neglected health problem in developing countries. Ethiopia has a high incidence of road traffic accidents and trauma constitutes about half of surgical emergencies among patient seen at health facilities. The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of trauma among patient seen at emergency outpatient departments of public hospitals in northern Ethiopia
Methods: Retrospective data on patient seen at the hospitals during a one-year period (January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013) was collected. The source population was all patients who visited the emergency OPD of two public hospitals in Mekelle, Tigray.
Results: The 16-25 year old age group was the most commonly affected age group, accounting for 38.5% followed by the 26-35 year old group (21.4%) of the cases. Males were more frequently involved than females (74.3%) vs 25.7%). Eighty- three per cent of the patients were from urban areas. Interpersonal violence (31%), accidental falls (19.2%) and Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) (14.1%) were the most common causes of injury. The dead (33.5%) was the most commonly involved part of the body.
Conclusion: This study indicates a high burden of trauma in the study area and the need for interventions to control the problem. Given the morbidity and mortality associated with trauma, trauma registry system will be beneficial in Tigray and perhaps for the whole country.
Keywords: Traffic accidents, trauma, Mekelle, Tigray
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