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Hospital-based injury data from level III institution in Cameroon: retrospective analysis of the present registration system.

  • Author(s): Chichom Mefire, A
  • Etoundi Mballa, GA
  • Azabji Kenfack, M
  • Juillard, C
  • Stevens, K
  • et al.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Data on the epidemiology of trauma in Cameroon are scarce. Presently, hospital records are still used as a primary source of injury data. It has been shown that trauma registries could play a key role in providing basic data on trauma. Our goal is to review the present emergency ward records for completeness of data and provide an overview of injuries in the city of Limbe and the surrounding area in the Southwest Region of Cameroon prior to the institution of a formal registration system. METHODS: A retrospective review of Emergency Ward logs in Limbe Hospital was conducted over one year. Records for all patients over 15 years of age were reviewed for 14 data points considered to be essential to a basic trauma registry. Completeness of records was assessed and a descriptive analysis of patterns and trends of trauma was performed. RESULTS: Injury-related conditions represent 27% of all registered admissions in the casualty department. Information on age, sex and mechanism of injury was lacking in 22% of cases. Information on vital signs was present in 2% (respiratory rate) to 12% (blood pressure on admission) of records. Patient disposition (admission, transfer, discharge, or death) was available 42% of the time, whilst location of injury was found in 84% of records. Road traffic injury was the most frequently recorded mechanism (36%), with the type of vehicle specified in 54% and the type of collision in only 22% of cases. Intentional injuries were the second most frequent mechanism at 23%. CONCLUSION: The frequency of trauma found in this context argues for further prevention and treatment efforts. The institution of a formal registration system will improve the completeness of data and lead to increased ability to evaluate the severity and subsequent public health implications of injury in this region.

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