Epidemiology of road traffic injury patients presenting to a tertiary hospital in Hyderabad, India

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Background.Road traffic injuries kill more people in India than in any other country in the world, and these numbers are rising with increasing population density and motorization. Official statistics regarding road traffic injuries are likely subject to underreporting. This study presents results of a surveillance program based at a public tertiary hospital in Hyderabad, India.Methods.All consenting patients who presented to the casualty ward after a road traffic injury over a 9-month period were enrolled. Interviews were performed and data abstracted from clinical records by trained research assistants. Data included demographics, injury characteristics, risk factors, safety behaviors, and outcomes.Results.A total of 5,298 patients were enrolled; their mean age was 32.4 years (standard deviation 13.8) and 87.3% were men; 58.2% of patients were injured while riding a motorcycle or scooter, 22.5% were pedestrians, and 9.2% used motorized rickshaws. The most frequent collision type was skid or rollover (40.9%). Male victims were younger than female victims and were overrepresented among motorized 2-wheeler users. Patients were most frequently injured from 1600 to 2400. A total of 27.3% of patients were admitted. Hospital mortality was 5.3%, and 48.2% of deaths were among motorized 2-wheeler users.Conclusion.This is one of the few prospective, hospital-based studies of road traffic injury epidemiology in India. The patient population in this study was similar to prior hospital-based studies. When compared to government surveillance systems, this study showed motorized 2-wheeler users to be more frequently represented among the overall population and among fatalities. Further research should be done to develop interventions to decrease mortality associated with 2-wheeled vehicles in India.

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