Cross-sectional survey of treatments and outcomes among injured adult patients in Kigali, Rwanda

Traumatic injuries and their resulting mortality and disability impose a disproportionate burden on sub-Saharan countries like Rwanda. An important facet of addressing injury burdens is to comprehend injury patterns and aetiologies of trauma. This study is a cross-sectional analysis of injuries, treatments and outcomes at the University Teaching Hospital-Kigali (CHUK).

A random sample of Emergency Centre (EC) injury patients presenting during August 2015 through July 2016 was accrued. Patients were excluded if they had non-traumatic illness. Data included demographics, clinical presentation, injury type(s), mechanism of injury, and EC disposition. Descriptive statics were utilised to explore characteristics of the population.

A random sample of 786 trauma patients met inclusion criteria and were analysed. The median age was 28 (IQR 6–50) years and 69.4% were male. Of all trauma patients 49.4% presented secondary to road traffic injuries (RTIs), 23.9% due to falls, 10.9% due to penetrating trauma. Craniofacial trauma was the most frequent traumatic injury location at 36.3%. Lower limb trauma and upper limb trauma constituted 35.8% and 27.1% of all injuries. Admission was required in 68.2% of cases, 23.3% were admitted to the orthopaedic service with the second highest admission to the surgical service (19.2%). Of those admitted to the hospital, the median LOS was 6 days (IQR 3–14), in the subset of patients requiring operative intervention, the median LOS was also 6 days (IQR 3–16). Death occurred in 5.5% of admitted patients in the hospital.

The traumatic injury burden is borne more proportionally by young males in Kigali, Rwanda. Blunt trauma accounts for a majority of trauma patient presentations; of these RTIs constitute nearly half the injury mechanisms. These findings suggest that this population has substantial injury burdens and prevention and care interventions focused in this demographic group could provide positive impacts in the study setting.