Ten years of trauma in the 'top end' of the Northern Territory, Australia: a retrospective analysis

Int Emerg Nurs. 2015 Jan;23(1):17-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2014.09.006. Epub 2014 Oct 16.


Aim: To examine characteristics of traumatic injury in adults and children at the Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) over a 10 year period.

Method: A retrospective review of the RDH Trauma Registry data from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2012, with analysis of patient demographics, mechanism of injury, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and outcome.

Participants: Two thousand seven hundred twenty-five patients with an ISS greater than or equal to 9 and met all other study inclusion criteria.

Results: Motor vehicle crashes, assaults and falls consistently remained the three most common mechanisms of injury throughout the 10 year period. Indigenous admissions showed a significant downward trend (p = 0.009). Upward trends were noted in presentations from patients aged greater than 44 (p = 0.002), all-terrain vehicle accidents (p <0.001), and hangings (p = 0.003). No other trends were noted to significant at a p <0.05 level. Admitted Indigenous patients were significantly more likely to be present due to assault (p <0.001) and female patients were more likely to present due to assault, falls and motor vehicle crashes (p <0.01) than their counterparts.

Conclusion: Presentations for traumatic injury to Royal Darwin Hospital have remained in the most part, consistently stable for the period of 2003-2012. Though there were some increases/decreases in regard to specific demographics and mechanisms, few were found to be statistically significant at a p < 0.05 level.

Keywords: Australia; ISS; Indigenous; Mechanism of injury; Northern Territory; Royal Darwin Hospital; Top end; Trauma.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • Northern Territory
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trauma Centers / history*
  • Trauma Centers / organization & administration
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / history
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Young Adult