Profil clinique et soins aigus apportés aux patients souffrant de lésions traumatiques de la moelle épinière dans un centre d'urgence de soins tertiaires à Addis-Abeba, Éthiopie

Translated title of the contribution: The clinical profile and acute care of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury at a tertiary care emergency centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Finot Debebe, Assefu Woldetsadik, Adam D. Laytin, Aklilu Azazh, James Maskalyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction Traumatic spinal cord injuries can have catastrophic physical, psychological, and social consequences, particularly in low resource settings. Since many of these injuries result in irreversible damages, it is essential to understand risk factors for them and focus on primary prevention strategies. The objectives of this study are to describe the demographics, injury characteristics, and management of traumatic spinal cord injury victims presenting to the Adult Emergency Centre of Tikur Anbessa Specialised Hospital in Addis Ababa, the tertiary referral centre for emergency care in Ethiopia. Methods A prospective cross sectional survey was conducted from October 2013 to March 2014 in the Adult Emergency Centre of Tikur Anbessa Specialised Hospital. Patients were identified at triage and followed through admission to discharge from the emergency centre. Results Eighty-four patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries were identified. The mean age was 33 years and 86% were male. The most common mechanisms of injury were motor vehicle collisions (37%), falls (31%), and farming injuries (11%). The cervical spine (48%) was the most commonly injured region and 41% were complete spinal cord injuries. Most patients (77%) did not receive any prehospital care or medical care at other facilities prior to arrival in the Emergency Centre. Conclusion In our context, traumatic spinal cord injuries predominantly affect young men, and the majority of victims suffer severe injuries with little chance of recovery. Attention to occupational and road traffic safety is essential to mitigate the personal and societal burdens of traumatic spinal cord injuries. It is also imperative to focus on improving prehospital care and rehabilitation services for traumatic spinal cord injury victims.

Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)180-184
Number of pages5
JournalAfrican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Ethiopia
  • Spine injury
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Critical Care

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