Understanding patterns of injury in Kenya: Analysis of a trauma registry data from a National Referral Hospital

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Abstract

Background.

Injuries contribute to a substantial proportion of the burden of disease in Kenya. Trauma registries can be a very useful source of data to understand patterns of injuries and serve to provide information about potential improvements in the care of injured patients. In Kenya, health facility-based injury data has been largely administrative. Our aim was to develop and implement a prospective trauma registry at the largest trauma hospital in Kenya, the Kenyatta National Hospital, and to understand the nature of injuries presenting to the hospital, their treatment and care, and their outcomes.

Methods.

An electronic, tablet-based instrument was developed and implemented between January 2014 and June 2015. Data were collected at the emergency department, and patients were followed through disposition from the emergency department or in-patient wards if admitted. Variables included demographics, type of prehospital care received, details of the injury, and initial assessment and disposition from the emergency department or in-patient wards. Bivariate and multiple logistic regressions were used to assess potential risk factors associated with outcomes.

Results.

A total of 8,701 injury patients were included in the registry during the study period. The mean age of the injured patients was 28 years (standard deviation, 26 years). The majority of these patients were males (81.7%). The leading mechanisms of injuries were road traffic injury (41.7%), assault (25.3%), and falls (18.9%). Only 7.4% of patients received prehospital care; 49.6% of injured patients arrived within 1 hour after their injury. Hospital mortality was 4.4% and close to 1% of patients died in the emergency department. The independent predictors of in-hospital death were older age (≥60 years), injury mechanism (burns and road traffic injuries), and admission type (transfer) after controlling for injury severity.

Conclusion.

The establishment of hospital-based trauma registries can be an important tool for injury surveillance. This information will facilitate identifying priority areas for trauma care and quality improvement, as well as guiding the development of injury prevention and control programs.

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