• Vol. 39 No. 5, 363–367
  • 15 May 2010

A 5-year Profile of Trauma Admissions to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit of a Tertiary Hospital in Singapore



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Introduction: This retrospective pilot study provides information on trauma admissions to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) of a tertiary hospital in Singapore. The aim was to use the data collected to generate awareness and interest in this area. The authors also wish to use the information to advocate subsequent in-depth collection and analysis of data and the development of a Trauma Registry. As this was a pilot study, the data collected were by no means exhaustive and only descriptive analysis was applied.

Materials and Methods: Trauma admissions to the SICU for the period between January 2001 and December 2005 were identified from the admissions logbook maintained in the unit. The physical case-notes or electronic-records for the identified cases were retrieved and the relevant data and parameters were entered into the data collection sheet. Descriptive analysis was applied to the data collected.

Results: A total of 503 cases over the 5-year period fulfilled our criteria. Motor vehicle accidents were the greatest contributor of trauma admissions to the SICU (53%). The length of stay (LOS) in the unit ranged from 1 to 59 days. The anatomical area most frequently injured was the head (68%). Out of the 132 mortalities, male patients accounted for 84%. Two-thirds (67%) of injury-related mortality occurred in young patients aged less than 45 years. Motor vehicle accidents accounted for nearly half (47%) of injury-related mortality. Motorcyclists accounted for almost half (46%) of motor vehicle accident deaths.

Conclusion: The preponderance of young people involved in motor vehicle accidents with head injuries has a large impact on society and on the hospital workload. The authors hope that this pilot study will generate awareness and interest in the area of trauma injuries. They recommend that a nationwide trauma registry be established to look closer into this “disease”, as other developed countries have done.

Our tertiary hospital has a 9-bed Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) that caters to all surgical disciplines except Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgery (which has its own dedicated Cardio-Thoracic Intensive Care Unit).

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