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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 140  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-45

Mortality profile of patients with traumatic spinal injuries at a level I trauma care centre in India


1 Departments of Forensic Medicine And Toxicology, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Neurosurgery, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Surgical Disciplines, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
V Trikha
Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Center, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 25222776

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Background & objectives: There is no national spinal trauma registry available in India at present and the research on epidemiology of these injuries is also very limited. The purpose of this study was to describe the mortality profile of patients with spinal injuries brought to a level I trauma centre in India, and to understand the predictive factors which identify patients at an increased risk of spinal trauma mortality. Methods: Retrospective data were collected from computerized patients records and autopsy reports maintained in the department of Forensic Medicine. All the cases with spinal injuries whether in isolation or as a part of polytrauma were reviewed. A total of 341 such cases were identified between January 2008 to December 2011. The demographic data, type of trauma, duration of survival, body areas involved, level of spinal injury and associated injuries if any, were recorded. Results: There were 288 (84.45%) males and 53 (15.55%) females. Most victims (73%) were between 25 and 64 yr of age, followed by young adults between 16 and 24 yr (19.35%). Male: female ratio was 5.4:1. Fifty five per cent cases had spinal injuries in isolation. Injury to the cervical spine occurred in 259 (75.95%) patients, thoracic spine in 56 (16.42%) and thoraco-lumbar spine in 26 (7.62%) patients. The commonest cause of injury was high energy falls (44.28%), followed by road traffic accidents (41.93%). The majority of deaths (51.6%) occurred in the phase IV (secondary to tertiary complications of trauma, i.e. >1 wk). Forty patients died in phase I (brought dead or surviving <3 h), 55 in phase II (>3 to 24 h) and 70 in phase III (> 24 h to 7 days). Interpretation & conclusions: Our data suggest that there is an urgent need to take steps to prevent major injuries, strengthen the pre-hospital care, transportation network, treatment in specialized trauma care units and to improve injury surveillance and the quality of data collected which can guide prevention efforts to avoid loss of young active lives.


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