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J Trauma Manag Outcomes. 2013 Nov 13;7(1):10. doi: 10.1186/1752-2897-7-10.

Paediatric injuries at Bugando Medical Centre in Northwestern Tanzania: a prospective review of 150 cases.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences - Bugando, Mwanza, Tanzania. drphillipoleo@yahoo.com.



Injuries continue to be the leading cause of death and disability for children. The is a paucity of published data on paediatric injuries in our local environment. This study describes the etiological spectrum, injury characteristics and treatment outcome of paediatric injuries in our local setting and provides baseline data for establishment of prevention strategies as well as treatment guidelines.


This was a descriptive cross-sectional study involving paediatric injury patients admitted to Bugando Medical Centre from August 2011 to April 2012. Statistical data analysis was done using SPSS version 17.0 and STATA version 12.0.


A total of 150 patients were studied. The age of patients ranged from 1 month to 10 years with a median age of 5 years. The male to female ratio was 2.3:1. Road traffic accident was the most common cause of injury (39.3%) and motorcycle (71.2%) was responsible for the majority of road traffic accidents. Only 11 (7.3%) patients received pre-hospital care. The head /neck (32.7%) and musculoskeletal (28.0%) were the most frequent body region injured. Open wounds (51.4%), foreign bodies (31.3%) and fractures (17.3%) were the most common type of injuries sustained. The majority of patients 84 (56.0%) were treated surgically. Complication rate was 3.9%. The mean duration of hospitalization was 9.7 ± 13.1 days. Mortality rate was 12.7%. Age of the patient (< 5 years), late presentation and presence of complications were the main predictors of length of hospital stay (P < 0.001), whereas burn injuries, severe head injuries and severity of injury (Paediatric trauma score = 0-5) significantly predicted mortality (P < 0.0001).


Paediatric injuries resulting from road traffic accidents (RTAs) remain a major public health problem in this part of Tanzania. Urgent preventive measures targeting at reducing the occurrence of RTAs is necessary to reduce the incidence of paediatric injuries in this region.

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