Epidemiology and outcomes of injuries in Kenya: A multisite surveillance study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Surgery (United States)








© 2017 Elsevier Inc. Background Injury is a leading cause of disability and death worldwide, accounting for over 5 million deaths each year. The injury burden is higher in low- and middle-income countries where more than 90% of injury-related deaths occur. Despite this burden, the use of prospective trauma registries to describe injury epidemiology and outcomes is limited in low- and middle-income countries. Kenya lacks robust data to describe injury epidemiology and care. The objective of this study was to investigate the epidemiology and outcomes of injuries at 4 referral hospitals in Kenya using hospital-based trauma registries. Methods From January 2014 to May 2015, all injured patients presenting to the casualty departments of Kenyatta National, Thika Level 5, Machakos Level 5, and Meru Level 5 Hospitals were enrolled prospectively. Data collected included demographic characteristics, type of prehospital care received, prehospital time, injury pattern, and outcomes. Results A total of 14,237 patients were enrolled in our study. Patients were predominantly male (76.1%) and young (mean age 28 years). The most common mechanisms of injury were road traffic injuries (36.8%), falls (26.4%), and being struck/hit by a person or object (20.1%). Burn was the most common mechanism of injury in the age category under 5 years. Body regions commonly injured were lower extremity (35.1%), upper extremity (33.4%), and head (26.0%). The overall mortality rate was 2.4%. Significant predictors of mortality from multivariate analysis were Glasgow Coma Scale ≤12, estimated injury severity score ≥9, burns, and gunshot injuries. Conclusion Hospital-based trauma registries can be important sources of data to study the epidemiology of injuries in low- and middle-income countries. Data from such trauma registries can highlight key needs and be used to design public health interventions and quality-of-care improvement programs.