Traumatic Brain Injury from Traffic Collisions Place a Great Burden on Medical Resources in UAE

Prevention, causes and mortality rates from head injuries in UAE to be discussed at upcoming Middle East Trauma Conference

Studies have revealed that motor vehicle collisions in the United Arab Emirates were the main cause of head injuries. With an estimated mortality rate of 37 per 100,000 of the population; this makes the road traffic accident mortality rates in the UAE one of the highest in the world. Protective equipment can reduce the incidence of head injuries and must be applied strictly. Disability following traumatic brain injury may require a lengthy rehabilitation process, which places a great burden on personal and national medical resources. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, direct medical costs and indirect costs of brain injury (such as loss of productivity) result in an estimated US$76.3 billion each year.

Dr Ashraf Hefny Specialist Surgeon, Al Rahba Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE, will be discussing 'Epidemiology of Head Injuries in United Arab Emirates' at the Middle East Trauma Conference held at the Abu Dhabi Medical Congress & Exhibition from 27-29 October 2013 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

According to Dr Hefny, "Most of the trauma centres in the UAE are well prepared to deal with patients with head injury. However, it is important to increase the number of centres equipped with highly qualified neurosurgical units. Many patients with severe brain injuries die at the scene of accident before reaching a hospital with almost 90% of pre-hospital trauma-related deaths involving head injury."

When dealing with a patient suffering from a serious head injury, it is important to prevent secondary brain injury by providing adequate oxygenation and maintaining stable blood pressure at a level that is sufficient to perfuse the brain with rapid transfer of the patient to a trauma centre that is capable of immediate and definitive neurosurgical intervention.

Dr Hefny was part of a study was conducted in Al Ain, UAE, that studied the epidemiological and clinical features of head injury . The study lasted three years and included all trauma patients suffering from head injuries who were admitted to Al-Ain Hospital for more than 24 hours, and those who died in the hospital were included in the study.

"589 patients were studied, out of which 521 were males (88.3%). The median age (range) for admitted patients was 30 in a group of (1-89) year old patients. The most common mechanism of injury was road traffic collision at (67.1%) followed by fall from height at (11.9%). Head injury was mild in 82.2% of patients, moderate in 5.7%, and severe in 12.1%. 35 patients died (overall mortality 5.9%); patients who died had a significantly higher Injury Severity Score (p

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