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The burden of injury in low-income and middle-income countries: knowing what we know, recognising what we don’t know
  1. Adam D Laytin1,
  2. Finot Debebe2
  1. 1 Division of Traumatology, Surgical Critical Care and Emergency Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2 Department of Emergency Medicine, Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adam D Laytin, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; drlaytin{at}

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Injury is a major global health concern, accounting for 10% of the global burden of disease.1 Over 90% of injury-related deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs).2 Because it disproportionately affects young, otherwise healthy adults who are often the primary income earners for their families, injury tends to have significant financial and social impacts on the communities of the injured. The burden of injury can be mitigated by timely, cost-effective medical and surgical interventions, but the systems required to provide trauma care are in their infancy in many LMICs.3 Efforts to improve trauma care in LMICs rely on accurate data about the nature of injuries, the care being provided and patient outcomes in the area.

ED-based cross-sectional and cohort studies such at the one presented by Rouhani et al in their Emergency Medicine Journal paper provide an informative snapshot of injury epidemiology in LMIC and are an important first step in reducing the burden of injury4. Such studies help to determine targets for injury prevention initiatives and systems strengthening efforts. In their setting in central Haiti, Rouhani et al identify road traffic injuries (RTIs), particularly those involving motorcycles, as the most common injury mechanism …

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed to the conception of the work, participated in drafting the work and critically revising for important intellectual content and approved the final version to be published.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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