Objective: To assess the causes and pattern of hand injuries in patients with isolated unilateral acute hand injuries managed at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
Design: A prospective cross-sectional descriptive study.
Setting: Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya, between May and August 2006.
Subjects: All patients with isolated unilateral acute hand injuries who presented at the casualty department.
Results: A total of 99 patients were recruited. The mean age was 28.2 years with the modal age being 21-30 years. More males were injured than females. Occupational injuries and assaults were the most prevalent causes of hand injury. Majority of the injuries included lacerations, fractures and tendon injuries. The distal phalanges of the ring and long fingers were the most common sites of injury on the digits.
Conclusion: Occupational hand injuries, a largely preventable problem, are the most prevalent cause of hand injury. This offers opportunity for strategies in preventing a large number of hand injuries by initiating safety measures at the work place.