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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 64-67

Limb trauma in a university teaching hospital setting

Department of Surgery, Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
I C Nwagbara
P. O. Box 331, Ihiala, Anambra State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background Imo State University Teaching Hospital is located in Orlu, a sub-urban town in Imo State, South-Eastern Nigeria. With a high prevalence of road traffic crashes commonly involving motor bikes used for commercial purposes, trauma appears to be assuming epidemic proportions. Aim The aim of the study was to examine the causes of trauma involving the upper and lower limbs seen at the Imo State University Teaching Hospital, Orlu, determine the causative factors, and the treatment given. Patients and Methods The study was a 12 month retrospective study of the cases of limb trauma in adults that presented at the accident and emergency (A&E) department of the hospital. Results Two hundred cases of trauma involving the upper and lower limbs were seen in the A&E department within the period of the study. Road traffic crashes accounted for most of the cases seen (78%), while soft tissue injuries were the commonest injury type seen (54%). Treatment given included wound care (46%), closed reduction and casting (9.4%), as well as open reduction and plating (3.5%). Twenty percent (20%) of the patients left the hospital against medical advice. Of the patients that left against medical advice, 87% had fractures as their primary diagnosis. Conclusion Majority of the limb trauma cases were as a result of road traffic crashes; thus efforts should be directed at improving safety on our roads to reduce the burden of trauma on the health care system. There is also a need to create awareness in the community on the role of orthodox medicine in the management of fractures.

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