Early management of traumatic brain injury in a Tertiary hospital in Central Kenya: A clinical audit

J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2016 Jan-Mar;7(1):97-101. doi: 10.4103/0976-3147.165390.


Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability worldwide and is mostly attributed to road traffic accidents in resource-poor areas. However, access to neurosurgical care is poor in these settings and patients in need of neurosurgical procedures are often managed by general practitioners or surgeons.

Materials and methods: A retrospective clinical audit of the initial management of patients with TBI in Thika Level 5 Hospital (TL5H), a Tertiary Hospital in Central Kenya. Seventeen audit criteria divided into five clinical domains were identified and patient case notes reviewed for compliance with each criterion. Data were analyzed separately for those below 13 years owing to differences in response to brain trauma in those below this age.

Results: Overall, there was poor compliance with audit criteria in both groups. Among those below 13 years of age, only 3 out of 17 criteria achieved compliance and 4 out of 17 criteria achieved compliance for those above 13 years of age. Assessment for the need for a cervical radiograph (7.1% and 8.8% compliance) and administration of oxygen (21.4% and 20.6% compliance) had the worst performance in both groups.

Conclusion: Poor compliance to audit criteria indicates the low quality of care for patients with TBI in TL5H. Quality improvement strategies with follow-up audits are needed to improve care. There is a need to develop and enforce evidence-based protocols and guidelines for use in the management of patients with TBI in sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: Clinical audit; head injury; traumatic brain injury.