Ten years of trauma in the 'top end' of the Northern Territory, Australia: A retrospective analysis

  • Gowing C
  • McDermott K
  • Ward L
 et al. 
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Aim: To examine characteristics of traumatic injury in adults and children at the Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) over a 10 year period. Method: A retrospective review of the RDH Trauma Registry data from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2012, with analysis of patient demographics, mechanism of injury, Injury Severity Score (ISS), and outcome. Participants: Two thousand seven hundred twenty-five patients with an ISS greater than or equal to 9 and met all other study inclusion criteria. Results: Motor vehicle crashes, assaults and falls consistently remained the three most common mechanisms of injury throughout the 10 year period. Indigenous admissions showed a significant downward trend (p = 0.009). Upward trends were noted in presentations from patients aged greater than 44 (p = 0.002), all-terrain vehicle accidents (p < 0.001), and hangings (p = 0.003). No other trends were noted to significant at a p < 0.05 level. Admitted Indigenous patients were significantly more likely to be present due to assault (p < 0.001) and female patients were more likely to present due to assault, falls and motor vehicle crashes (p < 0.01) than their counterparts. Conclusion: Presentations for traumatic injury to Royal Darwin Hospital have remained in the most part, consistently stable for the period of 2003-2012. Though there were some increases/decreases in regard to specific demographics and mechanisms, few were found to be statistically significant at a p < 0.05 level.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Australia
  • ISS
  • Indigenous
  • Mechanism of injury
  • Northern Territory
  • Royal Darwin Hospital
  • Top end
  • Trauma

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  • Christopher J. Gowing

  • Kathleen M. McDermott

  • Linda M. Ward

  • Bronte L. Martin

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