Introduction: Injury caused by large animals varies according to the regional distribution of the animals and their relationship to humans. Camels are usually friendly to humans; however, occasionally they become very hostile, especially in rutting season. Most in-hospital trauma deaths are related to head injury. Very few studies in the literature have discussed camel-related head injuries. We aimed to study the incidence, mechanism of injury, types, and outcome of camel-related head injury in a high-income developing country to give recommendations on preventive measures. Methods: We retrospectively collected data from all patients who were admitted to Al Ain Hospital with a camel-related head injury from January 1, 2015, to January 1, 2021. Data collected included demography, mechanism of injury, anatomical location, severity of the injury, associated injuries, and management. The patients were followed up during their hospital stay to record the length of hospital stay, complications, and outcome. Results: During the study period, 98 patients were admitted to Al Ain Hospital with camel-related injury. Thirty-nine (39.8%) of the admitted patients with a camel-related injury sustained a head injury; a camel-related head injury was more common during August (23.1%). Thirty-four (87.2%) patients were camel caregivers. Thirty-three patients (84.6%) were injured on farms. Seven patients suffered an intracranial hemorrhage, and six (85.7%) of them had a history of fall from a camel. Glasgow Coma Score was significantly correlated to the severity of head injury measured by Abbreviated Injury Severity of the head (P = 0.006, Spearman's correlation). One patient died during the study period after having decompressive craniectomy for subdural hemorrhage (overall mortality 2.6%). Conclusions: The majority of camel-related head injury occurred in camel caregivers at camel farms and can be considered a work-related injury. Careful handling of camels, especially during the summertime can reduce the toll of camel-related head injury and its serious consequences. None of the injured patients was wearing a helmet at the time of injury. Legislation for compulsory helmet usage by camel caregivers at farms may decrease the incidence of head injuries in those patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine