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Logo of injprevInjury PreventionCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Inj Prev. Jun 2002; 8(2): 133–136.
PMCID: PMC1730841

Citywide trauma experience in Kampala, Uganda: a call for intervention

Abstract

Objectives: To describe injuries and their emergency care at five city hospitals.

Setting: Data were collected between January and December 1998 from casualty departments of the five largest hospitals of Kampala city, Uganda, with bed capacity ranging from 60 to 1200.

Methods: Registry forms were completed on trauma patients. All patients with injuries were eligible. Outcome at two weeks was determined for admitted patients.

Results: Of the 4359 injury patients, 73% were males. Their mean age was 24.2 years, range 0.1–89, and a 5–95 centile of 5–50 years. Patients with injuries were 7% of all patients seen. Traffic crashes caused 50% of injuries, and were the leading cause for patients ≥10 years. Fifty eight per cent of injuries occurred on the road, 29% at home, and 4% in a public building. Falls, assaults, and burns were the main causes in homes. Fourteen per cent of injuries were intentional. Injuries were severe in 24% as determined with the Kampala trauma score. One third of patients were admitted; two thirds arrived at the hospital within 30 minutes of injury, and 92% were attended within 20 minutes of arrival.

Conclusions: Injuries in Kampala are an important public health problem, predominantly in young adult males, mostly due to traffic. The majority of injuries are unintentional. Hospital response is rapid, but the majority of injuries are minor. Without pre-hospital care, it is likely that patients with serious injuries die before they access care. Preventive measures and a pre-hospital emergency service are urgently needed.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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