Causes of injuries resulting in a visit to the emergency department of a Provincial General Hospital, Nyanza, western Kenya

Afr Health Sci. 2011 Jun;11(2):255-61.


Background: There is increasing importance of trauma not only as a major cause of surgical admissions, but also a significant cause of morbidity, mortality and disability.

Objective: To document injury-related visits and hospitalization in a provincial hospital, western Kenya.

Methods: On-site review of records of all patients who visited emergency department (ED) from January 2002 through December 2003, and admissions of year 2003.

Results: A total of 15365 patients visited the ED, of which 41% (6319/15395) were injury cases. The leading causes of injury were assault (42%), road traffic crashes (RTC) (28%), unspecified soft tissue injury (STI) (11%). Cut-wounds, dog-bites, falls, burns and poisoning were infrequently reported (each <10%). The age group 15-44 years formed the largest proportion (75%). A total of 3253 patients were admitted in 2003, of which 1010 (31%) were due to injuries. RTC were leading cause of hospitalization (49%) followed by assault (16%). Men were more likely to be hospitalized due to assault (OR=2.22; CI = 1.45 - 3.41) and not burns or poisoning (p<0.01). There were 64 (6.3%) injury-related deaths, mainly resulting from RTC (41.9%), burns (19.4%) and assault (16.1%).

Conclusions: This study provides considerable information on major causes of injuries, useful for epidemiological surveillance and injury prevention campaigns.

Keywords: Africa; Emergency; Kenya; hospitalization; visit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, General
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Young Adult