Non-fatal injuries among pediatric patients seeking care in an urban Ghanaian emergency department

Lauren K. Whiteside, Rockefeller Oteng, Patrick Carter, John Amuasi, Ekua Abban, Sarah Rominski, Michelle Nypaver, Rebecca M. Cunningham

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4 Scopus citations


Background: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), injuries represent the largest cause of death among people ages 140 -and contribute to a large burden of disease worldwide. The aims of this study were to characterize the prevalence and relative mechanism of injury among children seeking emergency care and describe the demographics at time of presentation among these children to inform further research in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional survey of pediatric patients (n = 176) was conducted between 13 July 2009 and 30 July 2009 in the Accident and Emergency Center at Komfo Anoche Teaching Hospital (KATH) in Kumasi, Ghana. Participants were asked questions regarding demographics, insurance status, overall health, and chief complaint. Results: Of the 176 patients surveyed, 66% (n = 116) presented for injuries. The mean age was 4.7 years (range 1.5 months to 17 years), and 68% (n = 120) were male. Of those presenting with injury, 43% (n = 50) had road traffic injuries (RTI). Of the RTIs, 58% (n = 29) were due to being an occupant in a car crash, 26% (n = 13) were pedestrian injuries, and 14% (n = 7) were from motorcycles. There was no significant difference in demographics, health status or indicators of socioeconomic status between injured and non-injured patients. Conclusions: Among pediatric patients presenting for acute care at KATH during the study time frame, the majority (n = 116, 66%) presented for injuries. To date, there are no studies that characterize pediatric patients that present for acute care in Ghana. Identifying injury patterns and collecting epidemiologic data are important to guide future research and educational initiatives for Emergency Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine


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