Pattern and Outcome of Pedestrian Road Traffic Injuries in Patients Admitted to Mulago Hospital.
Oketcho, Michael C.
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Summary: Pedestrian injuries account for a significant number of patients seen in the Accident and Emergency Units in hospitals worldwide. The association morbidity and mortality is high influencing the victims’ lives and exacting a resource effect on the health care system. Objective: This was to establish the pattern and short term outcome of pedestrian injuries admitted to New Mulago Hospital. Setting: The Accident and Emergency Unit and Surgical wards of New Mulago Hospital. Design: The study was prospective and descriptive in the period August 2000-January 2001. Study population: Pedestrians injured by vehicles on the roads and admitted to New Mulago Hospital within 24 hours of injury. Data collection and analysis: Data was collected using questionnaires and analyzed using Epi-Info and SPSS statistical computer software. Results: A total of 129 patients were studied. The peak ages of incidences were the 6-10 and 16-25 age brackets comprising 32 (24.85%) and 33 (25.6%) patients respectively. Among 47 children aged 10 and below only 10 (21.3%) were supervised by an adult. The peak incidence was in the 12 noon 9.00 p.m. time frame. Fifty-two (40.3%) of the pedestrian injuries were caused by motor cars. There away a disproportion between the registered commuters (3.7% of all vehicles and the proportion of injuries they caused (24%). Pedestrians were more commonly injured on high roads (38.0%) of total. Most injuries (62.5%) occurred while the pedestrian was crossing a road. The body regions affected most were the head/face and distal extremities. Multiple injury was the most common pattern seen (78.3%). There was a significant difference in mean injury scores victims were: ISS – 13.13.03.80 and GCS – 13.45. There was a significant difference in outcome to each of the injury scores (P values 0.001 or less). Ninety-four patients (72.9%) required a surgical procedure. Conclusion & recommendations: The peak ages of incidences were in the brackets 6-10 and 16-25years. Injuries occurred more commonly in the afternoon /evening hours. The injuries most commonly occur on high roads. Most pedestrians are injured while crossing roads. The study recommends intensification of awareness to parents, drivers, school children and the entire public about pedestrian safety on the roads. Provision of facilities to protect the pedestrian and make the road easier for him to use is also recommended.