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Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana

versão On-line ISSN 1989-2055versão impressa ISSN 0376-7892


BITAR BENITEZ, Elsy Margarita; GAVIRIA POSADA, Sebastián; LEON FERNANDEZ, Nathalia de  e  GALLEGO GONIMA, Sabrina. Epidemiology of upper limb trauma presenting to six health institutions in Medellín, Colombia, in 2016. Cir. plást. iberolatinoam. [online]. 2021, vol.47, n.3, pp.323-332.  Epub 01-Nov-2021. ISSN 1989-2055.

Background and objective.

Upper limb trauma accounts for 10% to 40% of emergency department visits in North America and Europe and can cause significant temporary or permanent disability. After searching the local literature, the authors did not find any studies regarding the epidemiological data of upper limb trauma in regional literature in Medellín, Colombia.

The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiological characteristics of upper limb trauma in 6 local health care institutions during a 1-year period.


Retrospective, multicenter study, the institutional databases of all adult patients presenting to the emergency departments of 6 reference institutions in Medellín, Colombia, from January to December 2016 with any codes for upper extremity trauma were analyzed. Variables such as: national identity number, gender, age, code of the International Classification of Diseases and the insurance company were identified. Analysis of the demographic and clinical characteristics of the study patients was performed for the entire sample and by institutions, and a qualitative exploratory analysis was performed to identify differences between demographic and clinical variables.


There were 259.163 consultations found for all causes and 25.646 consultations for upper limb trauma (9.89%); 66.4% were in the group of 18 to 39 years and 70.74% were men. The most frequent types of trauma were wounds and contusions (68.1%), followed by fractures (17.1%). Trauma most frequently occurred in the hand (including the fingers) (31%) and due to work-related accidents (33%).


Upper limb trauma represents a major cause of morbidity in our local institutions. The results of this study are consistent with previously published papers. Analytical studies are required to evaluate the long-term impact of this type of trauma in the region.

Palavras-chave : Hand Injuries; Upper extremity trauma; Epidemiology.

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