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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 94-95

Patterns of injuries from road traffic crashes

Nemmed Clinic, Nakuru, Kenya

Date of Submission23-Jul-2019
Date of Acceptance11-Mar-2020
Date of Web Publication22-May-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Enos Ngungu Muguku
Nemmed Clinic, Nakuru
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_42_19

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How to cite this article:
Muguku EN. Patterns of injuries from road traffic crashes. Libyan J Med Sci 2020;4:94-5

How to cite this URL:
Muguku EN. Patterns of injuries from road traffic crashes. Libyan J Med Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Mar 30];4:94-5. Available from: https://www.ljmsonline.com/text.asp?2020/4/2/94/284690

Dear Editor,

Road traffic injuries (RTIs) remain a major public health problem in the world. RTIs are forecasted to become the seventh leading cause of mortality worldwide by the year 2030.[1] In 2016, RTIs were reported to cause approximately 1.35 million deaths and up to 50 million injured individuals.[2] It has further been observed that people suffering from RTIs have a variety of injury types.[3] This may be explained by the observation that the extent, severity, and impact of injury are mainly a product of the amount of energy, which is usually concentrated outside the band of human tolerance. The severity of injury has important implications in the delivery of health-care services. Measuring the characteristics of RTIs is crucial in efforts of identifying priorities for programs that aim at reducing injuries and their consequences.

Injury severity is described broadly as the impact of injury on the extent of tissue damage (the pathological evidence of trauma) and the physiological response of the body to that damage.[4] Initial estimates of the severity of nonfatal injuries have been based chiefly on the use of the health-care services, which include encounters with health-care systems, such as hospitalization, visits to emergency departments, and admissions to rehabilitation facilities. Some other metrics have been developed over time to more directly assess the characteristics of injuries. Patterns of RTIs are largely operationalized using injury severity scores. The scores can be anatomical scoring systems, physiological response scales, a combination of both or probability of survival scales.[3] The descriptions, merits, and limitations of these injury severity measurement scales are widely discussed in the literature.[4] In general, injury severity has different dimensions such as threat to life, threat to disability, injury burden, or cost. Historically, the focus in the literature has been on threat-to-life severity measures, thus giving them a sound foundation. Further, to obtain data for international comparisons, the most convenient choice is to use a measure of injury severity limited to the threat–to-life dimension, which can be derived from hospitalization data for most countries. Therefore, injury severity scores that focus on threat to life can be utilized as a universal indicator for the characteristics of RTIs.

A study in the USA found that only 3% of RTI patients had a serious injury.[5] Another study in the same country observed that serious injury to be 44 in every 100,000 person-years.[6] In the Netherlands, it is reported that three in every ten casualties had a serious severity.[7] In Yemen, 17% of road crash victims had severe injuries and needed admission.[8] Serious RTIs were minimal in Oman.[9] In Cameroon, a minority of RTIs was severe.[10] In Libya, over a quarter of RTIs were serious.[11]

In Kenya, one study reports that over half of road traffic crash victims admitted at a major referral hospital had serious injuries.[12] A second study in Nakuru County in Kenya examined the patterns of injury severity. A total of 141 road traffic crash victims were studied. The mean age of the patients was 35.17 (standard deviation = 13.12) years, with males being dominant. Most of the patients (63.8%) suffered from major trauma as assessed by the Abbreviated Injury Score of ≥3. Injuries of the extremities were most common, with 77% of the patients. A logistic model showed that only patients involved in collision crashes were at a higher risk of sustaining major injury (odds ratio = 2.40, 95% confidence interval = 1.02–5.65). The need to minimize major trauma partly through reducing the probability of the occurrence of collision type of crashes was thus apparent.

The available evidence on patterns of injury severity after road traffic crashes provides some understanding of the relative seriousness of injuries concerning the threat to life and resource utilization. The available literature suggests that the patterns of injury severity vary by region. This underscores the need to provide context-specific injury severity patterns after road traffic crashes.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2019.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mathers C, Fat DM, Boerma JT; World Health Organization, editors. The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 update. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2008. p. 146 p.  Back to cited text no. 2
Cryer C. Severity of injury measures and descriptive epidemiology. Inj Prev 2006;12:67-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Expert Group on Injury Severity Measurement. Discussion Document on Injury Severity Measurement in Administrative Datasets; 2004. Available from: http://www.injury_severity_group/home/discussion.html. [Last cited on 2010 Jul 12].  Back to cited text no. 4
Miller TR, Bhattacharya S, Zaloshnja E, Taylor D, Bahar G, David I. Costs of crashes to government, United States, 2008. Ann Adv Automot Med 2011;55:347-55.  Back to cited text no. 5
Nathens AB, Jurkovich GJ, MacKenzie EJ, Rivara FP. A resource-based assessment of trauma care in the United States. J Trauma 2004;56:173-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
Weijermars W, Bos N, Filtness A, Brown L, Bauer R, Dupont E, et al. Burden of injury of serious road injuries in six EU countries. Accid Anal Prev 2018;111:184-92.  Back to cited text no. 7
Alfalahi E, Assabri A, Khader Y. Pattern of road traffic injuries in Yemen: A hospital-based study. Pan Afr Med J 2018;29:145.  Back to cited text no. 8
Chitme HR, Ajmi MA, Saiari YA, Mahri LS. Assessment of type and severity of road traffic accident injuries among Omani young adults Saudi Journal of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2017;3:9. DOI: 10.21276/sjmps.2017.3.10.  Back to cited text no. 9
Chichom-Mefire A, Palle-Ngunde J, Fokam PG, Mokom-Awa A, Njock R, Ngowe-Ngowe M. Injury patterns in road traffic victims comparing road user categories: Analysis of 811 consecutive cases in the emergency department of a level I institution in a low-income country. Int J Surg Open 2018;10:30-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
Emara AM, Greiw AS, Hassan NA. Pattern of road traffic injuries in patients admitted to Al-Jlaa Hospital, Benghazi, Libya. Tanta Med J 2015;43:39-45.  Back to cited text no. 11
  [Full text]  
Saidi HS. Initial injury care in Nairobi, Kenya: A call for trauma care regionalisation. East Afr Med J 2003;80:480-3.  Back to cited text no. 12


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