Quantifying the burden of trauma imaging on the CT scan service at a major trauma centre in South Africa

  • Asma Abubaker Bashir University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Victor Kong University of the Witwatersrand
  • Ross D Weale
  • John L Bruce University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Grant Laing University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Wanda Bekker University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Damian Luis Clarke University of the Witwatersrand
Keywords: burden of trauma, cost analysis, CT scan, blunt trauma, trauma imaging.

Abstract

Background: Imaging is an integral part of trauma management and the huge burden of trauma in South Africa places substantial pressures on radiology resources. This study aims to provide a holistic overview of the burden of trauma imaging and the cost of trauma to a busy CT scanning facility at a tertiary hospital in South Africa.

Methods: We set out to describe and quantify the impact of blunt poly-trauma on CT scanning services at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg. We aimed to provide a holistic assessment in terms of use of equipment and staff, cost to the hospital and overall usage of CT scanning.

Results: Over the four-year study period, 1572 patients required a CT scan following blunt torso trauma (mean age: 30 years, 81% males). Of the 1572 patients, 625 had a chest radiograph (40%), 383 a cervical spine X-ray (24%), 347 a pelvic X-ray (22%), 292 a skull X-ray (18%), 193 a limb X-ray (12%), 133 an abdominal radiograph (8%), and 86 a FAST scan (5%). The 1572 CT included: 967 head, 568 neck, 65 chest, 241 abdominal, 228 pelvic, 12 upper limb, 38 lower limb and 394 had full body (Pan) CT scan. The mean total cost of the CT scanning for blunt poly-trauma is ZAR 12 000. The total cost of CT scanning for blunt poly-trauma is 0.92% of the total hospital expenditure. Roughly 7.8% of the total hours worked by the CT scanner over the time period under review was dedicated to blu nt poly-trauma.

Conclusion: Blunt poly-trauma is a preventable disease, which has a major financial impact on the healthcare system in general. This study has documented the tremendous burden it places on an already stretched CT scanning service.

Author Biographies

Asma Abubaker Bashir, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of Radiology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Victor Kong, University of the Witwatersrand

Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Ross D Weale

Department of Surgery, North West Deanery, Manchester, United Kingdom

John L Bruce, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Grant Laing, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Wanda Bekker, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Damian Luis Clarke, University of the Witwatersrand

Department of Surgery, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and Department of Surgery, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Published
2019-05-14
How to Cite
Bashir, A., Kong, V., Weale, R., Bruce, J., Laing, G., Bekker, W., & Clarke, D. (2019). Quantifying the burden of trauma imaging on the CT scan service at a major trauma centre in South Africa. South African Journal of Surgery, 57(2), 48-53. Retrieved from http://sajs.redbricklibrary.com/index.php/sajs/article/view/2836
Section
Trauma