Review of traffic accident cases presenting to an adult emergency service in Turkey

Aygencel G., KARAMERCAN M. A., Ergin M., Telatar G.

Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, vol.15, no.1, pp.1-6, 2008 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Introduction: Traffic accidents cause the death of millions in the world each year. Learning about the characteristics of the casualties involved in such accidents, which constitute a very important health problem, is essential in terms of measures to be taken. They may have substantial humanitarian and economic impact. Materials and methods: In this study, injured patients who had been involved in traffic accidents presenting to the adult Emergency service of Gazi University Hospital (Ankara, Turkey) in the 3-month period between 1st of March and 31st of May 2006, were examined, and review of a range of factors including the effects of age, gender, mode of transport to the hospital, type and regions of injury, time of injury, and presence of factors such as alcohol and alike was undertaken. Findings: A total eight thousand and eight hundred patients presented to our emergency department within the study period. Two hundred and sixty-two (3%) of these patients were injuries sustained in crashes. 38.2% (100) of the patients were women, and 61.8% (162) were men. The most frequently presenting age group was the under-25 age group with 27.9%. The highest attendence in Emergency Medicine Departments due to crashes was the period between 18:00 h and 24:00 h, (34.4% (n = 90)). The most frequent presentations were of those of patients sitting in the front seats (driver or passenger) with 48.5% (n = 127). 60.3% (n = 158) of the injured were conveyed to the hospital by the ambulances of the national emergency call system. The great majority of injuries (54.9%, n = 149) were patients with multiple traumas- also involving the head and the neck regions. Alcohol levels were determined in 59.6% of the cases, and in 19 cases the alcohol level was found to be higher than the legal limit of 50 mg/dL. 1.1% (n = 3) of the injured cases died in the emergency service, 8.4% were hospitalized in relevant clinics, 0.8% were referred, and 89.7% (n = 235) were followed-up in the emergency room for various periods of time, and then discharged. Conclusion: Traffic accidents constitute a very important health problem for the public health. Treatment of the injured individuals, and losses from the work force are significant for developing countries like our country. Studies directed towards the causes of traffic accidents will play a very important role in determining the measures to decrease or prevent such crashes. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd and FFLM.