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Road trauma, patterns of injury and mortality in an Australian trauma centre.

Frydenberg, E M, Curtis, K, Chong, S, Poulos, R, Grzebieta, R H, Steel, T R, Nau, T (Peer reviewed)

Road Trauma/Rehabilitation


Introduction: Road trauma remains a leading cause of death and permanent disability. The authors investigated differences between road user groups, mortality rates and pattern of injuries.

Methods: Data were prospectively collected on trauma presentations to the St George Public Hospital (SGH) from January 2002 to June 2008 (n=5118). Injury severity and patterns were evaluated using the Injury Severity Score (ISS), the New Injury Severity Score (NISS) and the Abbreviated Injury Score (AIS). Multiple regression analysis was used to analyse data. Results: Risk of death was 5 times higher for injured pedestrians than drivers (OR=5.0 95% C.I 2.97-8.57, p<0.001). Patients with head injuries had an increased risk of death compared to patients without head injuries (adjusted OR=6.04, 95% C.I. 3.79-9.64, p<0.0001).

Conclusion: Vulnerable road users had a significantly higher mortality rate than other road users. These findings highlight the need for further research into factors contributing to pedestrian injury such as road design and pedestrian crossings.