Introduction: Injuries represent a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and road traffic crashes accounts for a significant proportion of these injuries. Tanzania is among the countries with high rates of road traffic crashes. The aim of this study was to determine the pattern, associated factors and management of road traffic injury patients in Tanzania.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of patients involved in motor traffic crashes and attended in six public hospitals of Tanzania mainland between April 2014 and September 2014.
Results: A total of 4675 road traffic injury patients were seen in studied hospitals, 76.6% were males. Majority (70.2%) were between 18 - 45 years age group. Motorcycles were the leading cause of road traffic crashes (53.4%), and drivers (38.3%) accounted for majority of victims. Fractures accounted for 34.1%, and injuries were severe in 2.2% as determined by the Kampala trauma score II (KTS II). Majorities 57.4% were admitted and 2.2% died at the casualty. Factors associated with mortality were; using police vehicles to hospital (P = 0.000), receiving medical attention within 2 to 10 hours after injury (P = 0.000), 18 - 45 years age group (P = 0.019), not using helmet (P = 0.007), severe injuries (P = 0.000) and sustaining multiple injury (P = 0.000).
Conclusion: Road traffic Injuries in Tanzania are an important public health problem, predominantly in adult males, mostly due to motorcycle crashes. It is therefore important to reinforce preventive measures and pre-hospital emergency service is urgently needed.
Keywords: Road traffic crashes; Tanzania; injuries.