Pre-injury alcohol use and road traffic injury among patients at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda: Cross-sectional study
ACRS, DOI:10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00261, https://doi.org/10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00261
Submission Date: November 1, 2019 Journal
Suggested Citation: Biribawa, C., Kobusingye, O., Mugyenyi, P., Baguma, E., Bua, E., Alitubeera, P.H. and Tumwesigye, N.M. (2019). “Pre-injury alcohol use and road traffic injury among patients at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala, Uganda: Cross-sectional study”. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 30(4), 17-25. https://doi.org/10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00261
Background: Uganda has a high rate of road traffic injuries (RTI). Alcohol use increases traffic injury risk and severity through impairment of road-use skills and hazard perception. Few studies have examined this problem in Uganda. We therefore assessed the prevalence and determinants of pre-injury alcohol use among road traffic injured patients at Mulago National Referral Hospital, Kampala Uganda. Methods: We enrolled 330 eligible adult RTI patients consecutively in a crosssectional study, at the emergency department in Mulago National Referral Hospital from March-May, 2016. We assessed pre-injury alcohol use using BACtrack professional Breathalyzer, alcohol intoxication assessment tool and alcohol use selfreport covering the period of 6 hours before the injury. We assessed injury severity using Glasgow Coma Scale and Kampala Trauma Score. We estimated prevalence ratios [PR] using modified Poisson regression. Results: Prevalence of pre-injury alcohol use among injured patients was 29.7%. Pedestrians (44%) had the greatest percentage of alcohol use when compared to other road users. Pre-injury alcohol use was associated with mortality at the Emergency Department, PR: 2.33 [1.39 – 3.9]. Conclusion and recommendations: Pre-injury alcohol use is high among pedestrians and yet prevention efforts target mostly motorists. Pre-injury alcohol use also resulted into increased mortality at Emergency Department. We recommend prevention efforts to not only target motorists but also pedestrians.