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Aims: This study was aimed at defining the peculiar demographic and associated risk factors of head injury.
Study Design: This was a retrospective study
Place and Duration of Study: We conducted this study at an Accident and Emergency unit of a tertiary hospital between February 2012 and January 2013.
Methodology: All head injury patients who were admitted in the Accident and Emergency Department of a tertiary health institution were studied. Data were collected from the emergency records and case notes, collated and analyzed using the descriptive statistics and chi square test to test for significance of associations between the predictor and outcome variables in the categorical variables.
Results: Out of 3282 patients attended to during the study period, 428 (13.0%) of them had head injury. Majority were males (342, 79.9%). The peak age prevalence was in the 21- 30 years age group (n=145, 33.8%). Road traffic accidents (RTAs) were the most common cause of injury (307, 71.7%), with a majority being vehicular accident (n=215, 70.0%). The mortality rate was 1.6% (7). Many (57.0%) had associated injuries, of which fractures were the majority (n=93, 21.7%) and with skull fracture being the most common (n=27, 26.5%). Pedestrians knocked down by motor vehicles was the most common mechanism of injury (n=77, 23.3%). A few (22, 11.6%) had taken alcohol prior to the accident. Most of patients (64.7%) sustained mild head injury.
Conclusions: The incidence rate was much higher than in the developed countries. In our environment, male gender, driving a motor vehicle, being in the 1-10 years and 21- 30 years age group respectively, pedestrian and ethnic/communal clashes and violence were the major risk factors of head injury. Road safety officials should be more conscientious in tackling avoidable traffic accidents by increasing awareness and emphasizing the importance of avoidance of alcohol, speed limits, seatbelts and crash helmets.
Head Injury; epidemiology; etiology; accident; prevention; risk factors; Nigeria.