A 12-month pilot study of injured patients seen in the Emergency Department of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital was carried out. Trauma (28.8 per cent) was the main reason for emergency visits; 82.1 per cent of the patients were under 31 years of age. Domestic accidents were the commonest cause of trauma (42.5 per cent), followed by criminally motivated injuries (30.4 per cent), road traffic accidents (26.0 per cent), industrial (0.5 per cent) and other accidents (0.6 per cent). The overall mortality rate due to trauma was 5.4 per cent and within the period of study, trauma was the most common cause of deaths in hospital (10.1 per cent). Road traffic accidents were responsible for 67.9 per cent of these deaths, followed by criminally motivated injuries (16.1 per cent). Domestic, industrial and boat accidents caused 7.6 per cent, 5.4 per cent and 3.1 per cent deaths, respectively. Injury Severity Scores (ISS) among 419 patients showed a 100 per cent mortality for those with scores above 35. There were 48 prehospital, 19 emergency room and 14 in-hospital deaths among patients with an ISS below 35. The deaths resulted largely from delayed transportation of victims to the hospital and partly from inadequate emergency medical services. To reduce the current high rate of preventable deaths from injury, we recommend (i) ambulance services for early transportation of victims to the hospital and (ii) improved emergency medical care.