n South African Journal of Surgery - Prehospital transport of spinal cord-injured patients in Nigeria : trauma




. Well-organised and efficient prehospital transport is associated with an improved outcome in trauma patients. In Nigeria there is a paucity of information on prehospital transport of spinal cord-injured patients and its relation to mortality.

. To determine whether prehospital transportation is a predictor of mortality in spinal cord-injured patients in Nigeria.
. Prospective cohort study.
. Prehospital transport-related conditions, injury-to-arrival intervals and persons who brought spinal cord-injured patients to the casualty departments at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, and the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Lagos, were noted. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, the chi-square test and multiple logistic regressions.
. Mortality within 6 weeks of admission.
. During the review period, 168 patients with spinal cord injury presented to the casualty departments. Most presented 24 hours or more after the injury (67.9%) and were brought to casualty by their relatives (58.3%). Saloon cars were the most common mode of transportation (54.2%), most patients (55.4%) lying on their back during transfer. The majority of the patients (75%) had been taken to at least one other hospital before arriving at our casualty departments. The mortality rate was 16.7%. Multivariate analysis after adjusting for age, gender and means of transportation revealed that age (odds ratio (OR) 63.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) 9.24 - 43.53), a crouched position during transfer (OR 23.52, 95% CI 7.26 - 74.53), presentation after 24 hours (OR 5.48, 95% CI 3.20 - 16.42) and multiple hospital presentations (OR 7.94, 95% CI 1.89 - 33.43) were associated with death within 6 weeks of admission.
. Well-organised and efficient prehospital transport would reduce mortality in spinal cord-injured patients. Providing information on prehospital transport would also reduce mortality.


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