Necessity of an integrated road traffic injuries surveillance system: A community-based study
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Objectives: A prerequisite to improving the situation of traffic accidents and injury prevention is to set up a road traffic accident and victim information system (RTAVIS), which does not exist in Iran. The objective of this study was to compare the 3 major sources of information, including police, emergency medical services (EMS), and hospitals, to show the necessity of an integrated road traffic injury surveillance system. Method: This prospective cohort study was performed by pursuing all road traffic accident (RTA) cases during one year (May 2008 to May 2009) within 30 days of their occurrence by a draft questionnaire and data pooling from participating sources. Results: After pooling the data from all organizations, it was revealed that during one year, 245 road traffic accidents occurred in Tehran-Abali route (with a 45-km radius) in which 434 people were either injured or deceased. Out of these crash injuries, police and EMS were unaware of 67 and 51 cases, respectively. In other words, police, pre-hospital emergency services and hospitals reported 56.2, 82.9, and 76.4 percent of the entire number of injuries or deaths, respectively. Conclusion: None of the organizations investigated, that is, police, EMS, and health care facilities, have complete records on injuries and deaths caused by traffic accidents. We recommend the formulation and implementation of an integrated and multidisciplinary data collection system of national traffic accidents with the collaboration of police, Ministry of Health and Medical Education (EMS and hospitals), forensic medicine, and the Iranian Red Crescent. © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.