The Economic and Social Burden of Traumatic Injuries: Evidence from a Trauma Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Research paper by Christopher C Zuraik, John J Sampalis, Alexa A Brierre

Indexed on: 23 Nov '17Published on: 23 Nov '17Published in: World Journal of Surgery


The cost of traumatic injury is unknown in Haiti. This study aims to examine the burden of traumatic injury of patients treated and evaluated at a trauma hospital in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.A retrospective cross-sectional chart review study was conducted at the Hospital Bernard Mevs Project Medishare for all patients evaluated for traumatic injury from December 2015 to January 2016, as described elsewhere (Zuraik and Sampalis in World J Surg, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-017-4088-2 , 2017). Direct medical costs were obtained from patient hospital bills. Indirect and intangible costs were calculated using the human capital approach.A total of 410 patients were evaluated for traumatic injury during the study period. Total costs for all patients were $501,706 with a mean cost of $1224. Indirect costs represented 63% of all costs, direct medical costs 19%, and intangible costs 18%. Surgical costs accounted for the majority of direct medical costs (29%). Patients involved in road traffic accidents accounted for the largest number of injuries (41%) and the largest percentage of total costs (51%). Patients with gunshot wounds had the highest total mean costs ($1566). Mean costs by injury severity ranged from $62 for minor injuries, $1269 for serious injuries, to $13,675 for critical injuries.Injuries lead to a significant economic burden for individuals treated at a semi-private trauma hospital in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Programs aimed at reducing injuries, particularly road traffic accidents, would likely reduce the economic burden to the nation.