Send to

Choose Destination
Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016 Dec;31(6):614-620. Epub 2016 Sep 22.

Rwanda's Model Prehospital Emergency Care Service: A Two-year Review of Patient Demographics and Injury Patterns in Kigali.

Author information

1Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,Baltimore,MarylandUSA.
2Department of Surgery,Brigham and Women's Hospital,Boston,MassachusettsUSA.
3University of California-San Francisco,Department of Surgery,San Francisco General Hospital,San Francisco,CaliforniaUSA.
4Service d'Aide Medicale Urgente,Ministry of Health,Kigali,Rwanda.
6Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kigali,Kigali,Rwanda.
7Division of Trauma,Emergency Surgery, and Critical Care,Virginia Commonwealth University,Richmond,VirginiaUSA.


Introduction Injury is responsible for nearly five million annual deaths worldwide, and nearly 90% of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Reliable clinical data detailing the epidemiology of injury are necessary for improved care delivery, but they are lacking in these regions.


A retrospective review of the Service d'Aide Medicale Urgente (SAMU; Kigali, Rwanda) prehospital database for patients with traumatic injury-related conditions from December 2012 through November 2014 was conducted. Chi-squared analysis, binomial probability test, and student's t-test were used, where appropriate, to describe patient demographics, injury patterns, and temporal and geographic trends of injuries.


In the two-year period, 3,357 patients were managed by SAMU for traumatic injuries. Males were 76.5% of the study population, and the median age of all injured patients was 29 years (IQR=23-35). The most common causes of injury were road traffic crashes (RTCs; 73.4%), stabbings/cuts (11.1%), and falls (9.4%), and the most common anatomic regions injured were the head (55.7%), lower (45.0%) extremities, and upper (27.0%) extremities. Almost one-fourth of injured patients suffered a fracture (24.9%). The most common mechanism of injury for adults was motorcycle-related RTCs (61.4%), whereas children were more commonly injured as pedestrians (59.8%). Centrally located sectors within Kigali represented common areas for RTCs.


These data support the call for focused injury prevention strategies, some of which already are underway in Rwanda. Further research on care processes and clinical outcomes for injured patients may help identify avenues for improved care delivery. Enumah S , Scott JW , Maine R , Uwitonze E , Nyinawankusi JD , Riviello R , Byiringiro JC , Kabagema I , Jayaraman S . Rwanda's model prehospital emergency care service: a two-year review of patient demographics and injury patterns in Kigali. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(6):614-620.


GCS Glasgow Coma Score; LMIC low- and middle-income country; RTC road traffic crash; RTS Revised Trauma Score; SAMU Service d’Aide Medicale Urgente; Rwanda; epidemiology; injury; prehospital; trauma

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center