Epidemiology of spinal injuries in the United Arab Emirates

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To assess the risk factors, mechanism of injury, and clinical outcome of hospitalized patients with spinal injuries in order to recommend preventive measures. Methods: Patients with spinal injuries admitted to Al Ain Hospital, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for more than 24 h or who died after arrival to the hospital were studied over 3 years. Demography, location and time of injury, affected body regions, hospital and ICU stay, and outcome were analyzed. Results: 239 patients were studied, 90 % were males, and 84 % were in the productive years of 25-54. Majority were from the Indian subcontinent (56 %). Road was the most common location for spinal injury (47 %), followed by work (39 %). The most common mechanism of injury was traffic collisions (48 %) followed by fall from height (39 %) and fall from the same level (9 %). UAE nationals were often injured at road and home compared with non-UAE nationals, who were more injured at work (p < 0.0001). Patients falling from the same level were older (p = 0.001) and predominantly females (p < 0.0001) when compared with other mechanisms. Spinal fractures were more common in the lumbar region (57 %). Eleven patients (5 %) sustained paraplegia and five (4 %) patients died. Interpretation: Traffic injuries and falls were the leading causes for spinal injuries in the UAE. Expatriate males are at high risk for fall from height, UAE national males for traffic injuries and females for falls at the same level at homes. Prevention should focus on traffic and home injuries for UAE nationals and occupational safety for expatriate workers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalWorld Journal of Emergency Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 9 2015


  • Fall
  • Prevention
  • Road-traffic crash
  • Spine injury
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine


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