Characteristics of road traffic accidents treated in an urban trauma center

Meir Marmor, Nata Parnes, David Aladgem, Vered Birshan, Patrick Sorkine, Pinchas Halpern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of accidental injury and death for persons under the age of 35. The medical literature presents surprisingly little information on the general characteristics of such accidents in the urban setting. Objectives: To characterize RTA patients arriving at an urban trauma center. Methods: We prospectively examined the charts of all patients admitted to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center due to RTA injuries during two periods in 1995. Results: Of the 1,560 patients examined, the male:female ratio was 1:1 and median age was 27 years (47% aged 20-30 years); 51% of the accidents took place between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and on working week days; automobiles comprised 47.1% of the vehicles involved, motorized two-wheel vehicles 37.1%, bicycles 3.8%, and pedestrians 12%. The Glasgow Coma Scale was 15 on arrival in 98.7% of the patients. The trunk was the most commonly injured body part (84.7%); whiplash injury to the neck was diagnosed in 343 patients (22%), and brain concussion in 183 (11.7%). Computed tomography studies were performed in 34 patients (2.2%). The vast majority of patients (1,438, 92.2%) was discharged home; 14 (0.9%) were admitted to the intensive care unit, and 2 (0.13%) died during hospitalization. The average time spent in the emergency department in the morning shift was 2.1 hours. Conclusions: We could identify distinguishing factors of this population: equal gender distribution, peak RTA incidence in the young adult working population during working hours, automobile drivers being the most injured subgroup, a disproportionate number of motorcycle and motor scooter involvement, and a relatively extensive amount of time and resources spent treating these injuries despite their generally minor nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Road traffic accidents
  • Urban trauma center


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