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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 265-270

Epidemiology of paediatric injury in low income environment: Value of hospital based data prior to the institution of a formal registration system

1 Department of General Thoracic Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea and Regional Hospital Limbe, Yaoundé, Cameroon
2 General and Vascular Surgeon, General and Reference Hospital, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Correspondence Address:
Alain Chichom-Mefire
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea and Regional Hospital Limbe, P.O. 25526, Yaounde
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0189-6725.120909

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Background: Little attention is generally paid to paediatric injuries, especially in low income settings. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of the epidemiology of hospital-based paediatric injuries in a semi-urban area in Cameroon prior to the initiation of a formal registration system. Patients and Methods: A sixteen items data collection sheet derived from a newly instituted trauma registry is used to retrospectively gather hospital-based basic information about epidemiology of injuries in patients aged 15 years or below in a low income setting. Results: Two hundred and seventy seven cases representing 16% of all injury cases could be analysed. The frequency of injuries significantly increased with age with a peak between 11 and 15 years (P < 0.001). Children in school playgrounds carried a significantly higher risk of sustaining an injury (P < 0.001). Falls and interpersonal violence were the most frequent mechanisms. The face and locomotor systems were the most commonly involved. More than 60% of patients were discharged back home. Conclusions: The data from the present registration system seem to indicate a higher injury rate in pre-adolescent children and in the school playground. The institution of a formal registration system is likely to improve the quality of data recording system.

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