Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 110-112

Impact of road traffic "penalty points" on high energy pelvic trauma


Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, AMNCH, Tallaght, Dublin 24, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
Prasad Ellanti
Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, AMNCH, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Ireland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.110761

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Background: The penalty points system (PPS) was introduced in 2002 in an attempt to reduce the increasing rate of road traffic accident (RTA) related fatalities and serious injuries. Points are awarded based on the severity of the offence and are cumulative. A total of 12 points results in the disqualification from driving. Objective: A few studies have looked at the immediate or short term impact of PPS on trauma services or specific injuries such as spine trauma in Ireland. Little data is available on the long term effect of the PPS. The aim of this study is to see if the PPS system has had an influence on the number of pelvic injuries referred to our unit for surgical intervention and if this influence is sustained in the longer term. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of all pelvic and acetabular injuries admitted to our unit from 1999 to 2008 was undertaken. The mechanism of injury, the site and patient demographics were noted. Results: A total of 467 patients were identified over the ten year period. 454 patients were included in the study. There was a significant male preponderance of 76%. Mean age was 36.5 years (range 16 to 83). RTA's were the cause in 74% (n = 335) of the cases. The annual work load remained similar over the years. There has been a reduction in the number of RTA related pelvic injuries. There have been notable drops in the number of these cases corresponding to the introduction of the PPS and its subsequent expansion. The number of pelvic injuries due to falls continues to rise. Conslusion: The introduction of the PPS and its subsequent expansion has had a positive influence on the number of RTA related pelvic trauma. Continued surveillance and enforcement of the PPS is important for a sustained benefit from it in the long term.


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