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Journal Article


Alibhai A, Hendrikse C, Bruijns SR. Afr. J. Emerg. Med. 2019; 9(Suppl): S38-S42.


Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Cape Town, F-51 Old Main Building, Anzio Road, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.


(Copyright © 2019, African Federation for Emergency Medicine, Publisher Elsevier Publishing)








INTRODUCTION: Injury and violence are neglected global health concerns, despite being largely predictable and therefor preventable. We conducted a small study to indirectly describe and compare the perception of availability of resources to manage major trauma in high-income, and low- and middle-income countries using evidence-based guidance (as per the 2016 National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidelines), as self-reported by delegates attending the 2016 International Conference on Emergency Medicine held in South Africa.

METHODS: A survey was distributed to delegates at the International Conference on Emergency Medicine 2016. The survey instrument captured responses from participants working in both pre- and in-hospital settings. Responses were grouped according to income group (either high-income, or low- and middle-income) based on the respondent's nationality (using the World Bank definition for income group). A Fisher's Exact test was conducted to compare responses between different income groups.

RESULTS: The survey was distributed to 980 delegates, and 392 (40%) responded. A total of 206 (53%) respondents were from high-income countries and 186 (47%) were from low- to middle-income countries. Respondents described significantly less access to resources and services for low- and middle-income countries to adequately care for major trauma patients both pre- and in-hospital when compared to high-income countries. Shortages ranged from consumables to analgesia, imaging to specialist services, and pre-hospital to in-hospital care.

CONCLUSION: Major trauma care requires a chain of successful, evidence-based events for outcomes to benefit. This small study suggests that many of the links of this chain are either missing or broken within low- and middle-income countries. These settings simply do not benefit from the currently available evidence-base in major trauma care. It is important that this evidence-base also be evaluated within low- and middle-income countries. The capacity of low- and middle-income country emergency care systems also needs better describing.

Language: en


Developed countries; Emergency medicine; Global health; Income; Self-report; Specialization


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