Outcome of the effects of the new road traffic rules and regulations on the incidence and severity of passenger service vehicle related injuries presenting at Kenyatta National Hospital
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This was a descriptive prospective study to determine the presentation and severity of public service vehicle related injuries at Kenyatta National Hospital after the new regulations gazetted in October 2003. The study was carried between 1 st December 2006 and 31 st March 2007. A total of 161 patients satisfied the inclusion criteria and were recruited into the study. There were 112 males (70%) and 49 females (30%) giving a ration of 2.3: 1. 10 (6%) were below the age of 18 while 151 (94%) were above the age of 18 years. 36 (22%) sustained very severe injuries whilst 83 (52%) sustained moderately severe injuries and 42(26%) sustained mild injuries respectively. The most common injury was lower limb fractures 44(27%), followed by head injuries 41(25%) of the patients. There was a notable decline in the number of accidents, fractures, severity of injuries suffered between the 2003/2004 and 2006/2007 study periods. The incidence in 2003/2004 was 2.24 per 10000 in a period of 4 months while an incidence of 0.55 per 10000 was observed in 2006/2007. This presents a 71.3% decrease in the incidence of PSV accidents reported in KNH. The study revealed that careless driving and negligence by pedestrians are the principal causes of accidents, and both pedestrians and passengers are affected in road accidents suffering injuries that result in morbidity and time loss due to hospitalization. A large population of injuries seen at Kenyatta National Hospital are as a result of public service related road traffic accidents. When reviewing all cases of head injury admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital between July and December 1979, Mwang'ombe (56) found that road traffic accidents were the leading cause of the injuries seen, accounting for 46.3% of all head injuries reviewed.