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Road Traffic Injury in Lagos, Nigeria: Assessing Prehospital Care

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2017

Nasiru A. Ibrahim*
Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Abdul Wahab O. Ajani
Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Ibrahim A. Mustafa
Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Rufai A. Balogun
Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Mobolaji A. Oludara
Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Olufemi E. Idowu
Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Babatunde A. Solagberu
Department of Surgery, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Correspondence: Nasiru A. Ibrahim, FMCS, FWACS Department of Surgery Lagos State University Teaching Hospital 1-4 Oba Akinjobi Street, GRA Ikeja, Lagos E-mail:



Injuries are the third most important cause of overall deaths globally with one-quarter resulting from road traffic crashes. Majority of these deaths occur before arrival in the hospital and can be reduced with prompt and efficient prehospital care. The aim of this study was to highlight the burden of road traffic injury (RTI) in Lagos, Nigeria and assess the effectiveness of prehospital care, especially the role of Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS) in providing initial care and transportation of the injured to the hospital.


A three-year, retrospective review of road traffic injured patients seen at the Surgical Emergency Room (SER) of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Nigeria, from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2014 was conducted. Parameters extracted from the Institution Trauma Registry included bio-data, date and time of injury, date and time of arrival in SER, host status, type of vehicle involved, and region(s) injured. Information on how patients came to the hospital and outcome in SER also were recorded. Results were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS; IBM Corporation; Armonk, New York USA) version 16.


A total of 23,537 patients were seen during the study period. Among them, 16,024 (68.1%) had trauma. Road traffic crashes were responsible in 5,629 (35.0%) of trauma cases. Passengers constituted 42.0% of the injured, followed by pedestrians (34.0%). Four wheelers were the most frequent vehicle type involved (54.0%), followed by motor cycles (30.0%). Regions mainly affected were head and neck (40.0%) and lower limb (29.0%). Less than one-quarter (24.0%) presented to the emergency room within an hour, while one-third arrived between one and six hours following injury. Relatives brought 55.4%, followed by bystanders (21.4%). Only 2.3% had formal prehospital care and were brought to the hospital by LASAMBUS. They also had significantly shorter arrival time. One hundred and nine patients (1.9%) died in the emergency room while 235 bodies were brought in dead.


Less than three percent among the victims of road crashes had formal prehospital care and shorter hospital arrival time. Current facilities for emergency prehospital care in Lagos are inadequate and require improvement. Training lay first-responders, who bring the majority of the injured to hospital, in basic first-aid may improve prehospital care in Lagos.

IbrahimNA, AjaniAWO, MustafaIA, Balogun RA, OludaraMA, Idowu OE, SolagberuBA. Road Traffic Injury in Lagos, Nigeria: Assessing Prehospital Care. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):424430.

Original Research
© World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2017 

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Conflicts of interest: none


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