10-year evaluation of train accidents

Department of Emergency Medicine, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
Ulusal travma ve acil cerrahi dergisi = Turkish journal of trauma & emergency surgery: TJTES (Impact Factor: 0.38). 09/2011; 17(5):440-4. DOI: 10.5505/tjtes.2011.66750
Source: PubMed


Although less frequent than automobile accidents, train accidents have a major impact on victims' lives.
Records of patients older than 16 years of age admitted to the Adult Emergency Department of Hacettepe University Medical Center due to train accidents were retrospectively evaluated.
44 patients (30 males, 14 females) with a mean age of 31.8±11.4 years were included in the study. The majority of the accidents occurred during commuting hours. 37 patients were discharged, 22 of them from the emergency department. The mortality rate was 7/44 (16%). Overall mean Revised Trauma Score (RTS) was 10.5 (3 in deaths and 11.9 in survivors). In 5 patients, the cause of death was pelvic trauma leading to major vascular injury and lower limb amputation. In 1 patient, thorax and abdomen trauma and in 1 patient head injury were the causes of mortality. Primary risk factors for mortality were alcohol intoxication (100%), cardiopulmonary resuscitation on admittance (100%), recurrent suicide attempt (75%), presence of psychiatric illness (60%), and low RTS.
In this study, most train accidents causing minor injuries were due to falling from the train prior to acceleration. Nevertheless, train accidents led to a mortality rate of 16% and morbidity rate of 37%. These findings draw attention to the importance of developing preventive strategies.

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