A retrospective autopsy-based survey of fatal traumatic brain injuries in Benin City, Nigeria
Keywords:Fatal, Traumatic brain injury, Autopsy study, Benin City
Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is major cause of death in young adults. It results from external force to the head causing injury to the contents of the skull with or without damage to the skull itself.
Aims and objectives: To describe the autopsy findings in patients with Traumatic brain injuries.
Materials and Methods: A Retrospective Study of findings in patients who suffered Traumatic Brain Injuries as seen at autopsy. The historical and autopsy data of all Traumatic brain injury patients whose bodies were received between 2011 and 2021 were analyzed.
Results: TBIs account for 66.7% of traumatic deaths in our institution. Male to female ratio was 1:0.22, and mean age was 39.30±16.65 years. The most common cause of TBI was road traffic accidents (90.9%), with gunshots (5.6%) as a distant second. Intracranial hemorrhages were present in 99.6% of cases and almost all (98.8%) died as a result of Raised Intracranial pressure associated with intracranial hemorrhage. The most common pattern was Subdural hemorrhage (62.65%); followed by Subarachnoid hemorrhage (52.35%); Intraparenchymal hemorrhage (40.88%), Epidural hemorrhage (18.24%); and intraventricular hemorrhage (9.71%). Skull fractures were present in 41.6% of cases.
Conclusion: RTA is the most common cause of traumatic brain injury in our study and the leading cause of traumatic deaths. Multiple injuries appears to contribute less to mortality amongst our TBI patients but this may be due to under reporting of injuries found in polytraumatized patients. Morbidity and mortality due to TBI, and trauma in general, will be reduced by improving road safety, and functional protocols for emergency and prehospital care of trauma patients.
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