Traumatic Brain Injury in Honduras: The Use of a Paper‑based Surveillance System to Characterize Injuries Patterns


  • Erica Johnson MD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.
  • Cristina Rodriguez MD, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • Juan C. Puyana MD, FRCSC, FACS, FACCP. School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Professor of Surgery, Critical Care Medicine, and Clinical Translational Science, Director for Global Health-Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States. Editorial Board Member, IJMS
  • Francisco J. Bonilla-Escobar MD, MSc, PhD(c). Researcher, Department of Ophthalmology; Institute for Clinical Research Education (ICRE), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States. CEO, Fundación Somos Ciencia al Servicio de la Comunidad, Fundación SCISCO/Science to Serve the Community Foundation, SCISCO Foundation, Cali, Colombia. Grupo de investigación en Visión y Salud Ocular, VISOC, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia. Editor in Chief, IJMS



Wounds And Injuries, Nervous System Trauma, Trauma Centers, Violence, Honduras, Traumatic Brain Injuries.


Background: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Violence is the leading cause of mortality in Honduras. However, the incidence and impact of TBI in this low-middle income country (LMIC) is unknown. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology of TBI in Honduras, as captured by an injury surveillance tool in the country’s major referral center.

Methods: A cross sectional review of all TBI-related emergency department visits at the main referral hospital in Honduras from January to December 2013 was conducted. The calculation of descriptive statistics from Injury Surveillance System (InSS) data was performed.

Results: Of 17,971 total injuries seen in 2013, 20% were traumatic brain injuries (n=3,588). The main mechanisms of injury were falls (41.11%), road traffic accidents (23.91%), blunt trauma (20.82%), penetrating knife injuries (5.85%), and firearm injuries (2.26%). Most TBI were classified as mild; 99.69% (Glasgow Coma Scale=15). Emergency room mortality was low (1.11%). The modified Kampala Trauma Score median was 8 (interquartile range 7-8).

Conclusion: Mild TBI accounts for a significant percentage of all injuries presenting to a high-volume referral center in Honduras in 2013. Despite the high incidence of violence in this country, most TBI were accidental, secondary to road traffic accidents and falls. Further research is required with more recent data as well as with prospective data collection methods.


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2022-09-16 — Updated on 2023-01-02

How to Cite

Johnson, E., Rodriguez, C., Puyana, J. C., & Bonilla-Escobar, F. J. (2023). Traumatic Brain Injury in Honduras: The Use of a Paper‑based Surveillance System to Characterize Injuries Patterns. International Journal of Medical Students, 10(4), 381–386.



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