When we in North America think of Saudi Arabia, we don?t necessarily picture a country with high rates of road accidents. Apparently, it's time for us to adjust our thinking. According to the WHO, Saudi Arabia has the world's highest number of deaths from road accidents, with an average of 17 Saudi Arabians dying from this cause every day ?not an insignificant number in a country with approximately 27 million residents.

According to this article, much of the problem lies in the Saudi youth culture, which emphasizes speed and tricks. There is also little emphasis on driving safety and rules of the road in the country. As a result, road accidents are actually the leading cause of death for male Saudi youths.

It follows logically then that there are a large number of trauma cases in the country, increasing demand for medical devices such as the nails and screws used to stabilize broken bones. One other interesting trend we noted is the higher penetration of thoracic aortic stent graft procedures performed compared with abdominal aortic stent graft procedures in Saudi Arabia. Aortic stent grafts are a newer, less invasive medical device to treat aortic lesions and are an alternative method to traditional open surgery. Abdominal aortic repairs are primarily performed to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms, while the thoracic aorta is far more susceptible to blunt or penetrating trauma, such as that caused by the rapid deceleration that occurs as a result of a car crash. In most countries covered, penetration of abdominal and thoracic stent grafts are similar, at approximately 50% and 60% of total abdominal and thoracic aortic repairs, respectively. In Saudi Arabia, however, surgeons are eagerly embracing thoracic stent grafts, which have a penetration of approximately 60%, while abdominal stent grafts have been very slow to get off the ground?less than 10% of abdominal aortic repairs use stent grafts.

Just goes to show that you need to know your local markets to tailor your offerings to a specific country's need.

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