Magnitude, causes and characteristics of trauma victims visiting emergency and surgical units of Dilchora Hospital, Eastern Ethiopia

Lemma Negesa Bulto, Yadeta Dessie, Biftu Geda

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: in developing countries, approximately sixteen hundred people die every day from all types of injuries, making injury the third most common cause of all mortalities in the region. The objective of this study was to examine the magnitude, causes and types of traumatic injuries in patients visiting Dilchora Hospital in Dire Dawa Administration of Eastern Ethiopia. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study which was supplemented with qualitative data. Descriptive and thematic analyses were used to characterize the trauma in terms of victims, causes and types. Results: A total of 382 patients were identified within a two-month period of data collection. The most common causes of traumatic injuries identified were conflict (42.67%), road traffic accidents (35.07%), falls (13.35%) and burn injuries (8.90%). Soft tissue injuries (57.6%), abrasion (29.3%) and fractures (22.3%) were the three most common types of injuries experienced. Most of the victims were males, those people in the productive age bracket and those living in urban areas. Poor road structure, poor adherence to traffic rules and the use of old and poorly maintained vehicles were the main reasons for the road traffic accidents. Substance use behaviors in urban areas and farmland boundary issues in rural areas were the common causes of conflicts, and females were the most common victims of burn injuries. Conclusion: A high magnitude of injuries was observed such that, on average, six trauma victims visited the hospital each day. Conflict and road traffic accidents were the two most common causes of traumatic injuries. Poor vehicular conditions and poor road design were the main reasons identified for road traffic accident related trauma, which requires multilevel interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
Number of pages7
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Causes of trauma
  • Trauma
  • Types of trauma
  • Victim´s characteristics


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