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Aim: This study aims at determining the upper and lower extremity injury pattern and severity of motorcycle accidents in the Tamale metropolis, Ghana.
Methods: A retrospective hospital-based study comprising data on 190 motorcycle accident victims at the Accident and Emergency Centres of three major hospitals (Tamale Teaching Hospital, Central and West Hospitals) in Tamale metropolis from February to April 2018. Demographic data, injury type, injury location, use of crash helmet and injury outcomes were retrieved from the medical records registry. Data was analysed using SPSS version 23.0. Categorical variables were compared using Chi-square test and One-way ANOVA test was done to compare groups.
Results: From the 190 victims, 78.9% were treated and discharged, 17.4% were disabled and 3.7% died. Injury mechanism was significantly (F-test = 22.64, p = 0.00) linked with injury outcome. Victims who had frontal impact collision and died (71.4%) were significantly (p<0.05) more than those who were treated and discharged (26.7%). Accident victims with upper extremity injury who became disabled (18.2%) were more (p<0.05) than those treated and discharged (16.7%). Out of the 190 victims involved in motorcycle accidents, 64.2% were not wearing crash helmet. There was significant relationship (p<0.05) between use of crash helmet and injury outcome. More (23.0%) of accident victims disabled were not wearing crash helmet and among those who died, none (0.0%) had a crash helmet on.
Conclusion: Upper and lower extremity injuries as well head and neck injuries were high among motorcycle accident victims. The study recommends capacity building for healthcare professionals to manage head, neck, upper and lower extremity injuries at the Accident and Emergency Centres. Regular training programs should be conducted by law enforcement authorities in northern Ghana to train motorcycle riders and educate them on road traffic regulations. Compliance to the use of crash helmet by motorcyclists should strongly be enforced. Further prospective studies are needed to delineate these injury patterns and ascertain reason behind non-usage of crash helmet by motorcyclist in the Metropolis.
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