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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Non-Clinical Medicine - Public Health and Epidemiology - Surgery

A Study of a Decade of Road Traffic Accidents in Benghazi - Libya: 2001 to 2010
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Author: Zuhir Bodalal et al.

by Zuhir Bodalal, Riyad Bendardaf, Mohammed Ambarek

This paper aims to observe and to study the trends of road traffic accidents (RTA’s) for the past ten years in Benghazi – Libya. A retrospective analysis was done using the patient records of Al-Jalaa hospital (the main trauma center in Benghazi) from over 21,753 RTA cases. The annual data were compared to each other and changes of trends were observed. RTA’s represented an increasing percentage of Al-Jalaa’s case load across the years. Around 41% of these cases needed to undergo surgery. The younger age group (20–29 years of age) formed the majority of cases while there was a trend towards an increasing average age of patients involved in an accident. Male patients were found to be younger than their female counterparts. Males comprised 81.5% while females formed 18.5% of RTA patients. In terms of inpatient duration, most patients stayed in the hospital for less than 1 week. Vehicle occupants (drivers and passengers) were admitted more often than pedestrians. There was a trend across the years towards an increased involvement of vehicle occupants and decrease in the proportion of pedestrians that had to be hospitalized. Additionally, there was a decrease in the fatalities of pedestrians. Overall, most RTA patients were discharged and made to follow-up in outpatient clinics however there was a startling trend towards increased LAMA and absconded patients. There were both encouraging findings as well as points that needed further emphasis and action. Public education, life support training and diversification of transport (apart from the use of the roads) should be looked into, as possible means of improving the current situation.