Mind the gap: 11 years of train-related injuries at the Royal London Hospital Major Trauma Centre

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

This study presents an extensive retrospective database of patients with polytrauma following train-related injuries and highlights the key lessons learnt in this rare clinical presentation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

We retrospectively collected data from 127 patients who presented to Royal London Hospital after sustaining train related trauma. We analysed demographics, accident report data, aetiologies and clinical management interventions. All data were screened and injuries were mapped to various anatomical regions. The revised trauma score, injury severity score and new injury severity scores were used to quantify injury extent.

RESULTS

Mean patient age was 41 years (range 16-81 years) with a 73% to 27% male to female ratio. Deliberate injuries occurred in 71% of patients, with accidental injury accounting for 29%. The mean new injury severity score was 26.48 (range 1-75), with the most common injuries sustained to the chest and the extremities. Pneumothorax, haemothorax or tension pneumothorax occurred in 44% of patients, with 11% suffering a flail chest injury. Traumatic amputations occurred in 33% of patients and 56% of patients required admission to intensive care. Total mortality rates were 19%, with 12% of patients dying at day 0 and 18% at day 7, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

This study demonstrated the significant impact of train-related polytrauma and provided a comprehensive injury patterns. It was observed that deliberate polytrauma is related to psychiatric deliberate harm but there is no significant difference in the patterns of injuries between accidental and deliberately caused injuries. Overall injuries to the thorax and extremities were the most severe, demonstrating the highest mean injury scores.

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