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Evaluation of Medico-Legal Implications and Other Important Issues in Pedestrians Who Got Admitted to a Tertiary Care Hospital in Colombo District Following Road Traffic Injuries in 2018-2020

Author:

H. T. D. W. Ariyarathna

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, LK
About H. T. D. W.
Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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Abstract

Introduction: The most vulnerable road users are pedestrians. This article discusses important aspects of a few selected medico-legal issues that have received relatively little attention in Sri Lanka thus far.   

 

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in which 500 patients who were admitted to the Accident Service Unit (ASU) following pedestrian-vehicle collisions between January 2018 and January 2020.

 

Results: There were 78% (n=391) males among the victims, and the average age of the victims was 47 years.  Forty-five percent (n=224) of the incidents occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., accounting for 71% of the total. Five percent (n=25) of them had encountered an incident while crossing pedestrian lines. Fourteen percent of pedestrians admitted that the accident was their fault. Eight percent (n=39) had insurance coverage, and 54% (n=272) indicated a desire to pursue compensation through litigation. Forty percent (n= 202) correctly identified the court to which they needed to go to obtain compensation. The JMO's (Judicial Medical Officer) role was not well understood, and only 04% (n=19) were aware of it precisely. Fifty six percent sustained grievous injuries and 61% of participants had been referred to other specialities for expert opinions while being treated in the Accident Service Unit (ASU). Eighty-five percent (n=427) of patients underwent surgery, and the majority stated that they were not adequately informed about the surgical procedures before surgery. Six percent (n=29) stated that they were not in pain. There was a statistically significant correlation between age and sex and the severity of the injuries sustained. The time of the accident and the fact that it occurred while crossing the road demonstrated a significant association, whereas alcohol consumption and the fact that it occurred on a pedestrian crossing did not. There was no statistically significant difference in the amount of pain experienced by males and females. When patients reached an advanced age, they became less likely to pursue compensation claims.

 

Conclusion: The health sector was burdened with a huge number of pedestrian victims upon traffic-related injuries and the majority of victims suffered injuries either grievous or above in categorization of hurt. The knowledge of the service provided by a JMO and the court system was insufficient. Identification of peculiarities among victims helps to minimize casualties by addressing specific aspects.
How to Cite: Ariyarathna, H.T.D.W., 2021. Evaluation of Medico-Legal Implications and Other Important Issues in Pedestrians Who Got Admitted to a Tertiary Care Hospital in Colombo District Following Road Traffic Injuries in 2018-2020. Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka, 9(2), pp.7–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/mljsl.v9i2.7444
Published on 28 Dec 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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