[Intensive care management of patients with severe head traumatism in Benin from 1998 to 2002]

Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2005 Jan;24(1):36-9. doi: 10.1016/j.annfar.2004.11.011.
[Article in French]


Objective: To study in Cotonou (Benin) in tropical environment, the specific problems of severe head injury.

Study design: Five years retrospective study in Cotonou University National and Teaching Hospital.

Patients and methods: All patients admitted with severe head injury between January 1998 and December 2002 were included. The following parameters were studied: age, sex, traumatism cause, temperature, blood pressure, Glasgow coma scale.

Results: Two Hundred thirty six patients (mean age 32 +/- 18 years) essentially men, were admitted. The cause of the injury was road traffic accidents in 86% of cases. Prehospital medicalisation was achieved in only 9% of cases. A head CT-scan was performed in 5% of the cases. Respiratory resuscitation essentially used the association intubation and oxygenation (59%), 19% of the patients were ventilated and 21% were sedated. Mortality was closely related to the initial Glasgow coma scale score (GCS): GCS 3-4 = 97%; GCS 5-6 = 72% GCS 7-8 = 36%. Overall mortality was 70%.

Conclusion: Severe head injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Limited access to highly specialised care explain a high mortality rate. An active policy of prevention from administrative authorities and a greater effectiveness of medical management may improve outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Benin / epidemiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Temperature
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / therapy*
  • Critical Care*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Female
  • Glasgow Coma Scale
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reflex, Pupillary
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed