Motorcycle-related Trauma in the Philippines Resulting in Hospital Admission: the Epidemiology of Cases at the Philippine General Hospital

Rafael J. Consunji,1,2,3 Allan Joseph L. Larona,2,4 Ambrosio C. Jumangit, III2 and
Shanthi N. Ameratunga5

1Division of Trauma, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
2Study Group on Injury Prevention and Control, National Institutes of Health,
University of the Philippines Manila
3Trauma Surgery Section, Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital,
Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
4Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, College of Medicine and
Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila
5School of Population Health, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences at
University of Auckland School of Population Health, Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract

Objective. To describe the epidemiology of motorcycle related trauma (MCRT) admitted to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Method. Restrospective analysis of records of motorcycle crash victims admitted to the Trauma Division, Department of Surgery, PGH from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2006.

Results. MCRT victims comprised 6.7% of all trauma admissions to PGH. Most were males (83.8%) and young adults (median age 26 years), and 38.6% were road users other than motorcycle drivers or passengers (primarily pedestrians). Two-thirds of victims suffered multiple injuries (68.9%). Common injuries were maxillo-facial (78%), fractures of the lower and upper extremeities (46.9% and 36.1%, respectively) and traumatic brain injuries (40.7%). The median length of hospital stay was 13 days. The in-hospital mortality rate was 5.8%, 43% of fatalities were due to traumatic brain injuries. Based on self-reported information, 88% of the motorcyclist victims were riding under the influence of alcohol, and 13% were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

Conclusions. A significant proportion of MCRT victims are not motorcycle users. There is an urgent need to implement effective strategies to prevent MCRT in the Philippines, including the implementation of enforcement of national laws agains drink driving and use of standard helmets.

Key Words: motorcycle crash, alcohol-related injury, motorcycle helmets, maxillo-facial trauma, traumatic brain injury