Introduction The burden of injuries are quickly becoming a leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa, where reports on the epidemiology of injuries are limited. Reports on the patterns and frequency of injuries from Cameroon are scarce. This study explores the patterns of trauma seen at the emergency ward of the busiest trauma centre in Cameroons capital city.
Methods Administrative records from 1 January 2007 through 31 December 2007 were retrospectively reviewed for all trauma patients presenting to the emergency ward. Univariate analysis was performed to assess patterns of injuries in terms of mechanism, date, age and gender. Bivariate analysis was utilised to explore potential relationships between demographic variables and mechanism of injury.
Results A total of 6234 injured people were seen at the Central Hospital of Yaounds emergency ward during the year 2007. Males comprised 71%; the mean age of injured patients was 29 (SD=14.9). Nearly 60% were due to road traffic injury, 46% involving a pedestrian. Intentional injuries were the second most common mechanism, 55% of which involved unarmed assault. Falls victims and male patients were more likely to be admitted (p<0.001).
Discussion Patterns in terms of age, gender and mechanism are similar to reports from other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The magnitude of cases reported is high for a single institution in an African city the size of Yaound. As the burden of injury is predicted to increase dramatically in sub-Saharan Africa, prevention efforts in Cameroon are strongly warranted.
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