Blame it on booze: Soweto’s biggest hospital treated over 40‚000 trauma cases in 2017

25 October 2018 - 11:36 By Ernest Mabuza
Last year‚ 40‚802 patients were treated in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital trauma emergency unit.
Last year‚ 40‚802 patients were treated in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital trauma emergency unit.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

More than 3‚000 patients a month are treated for violence and accident-related injuries at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital‚ Democratic Alliance Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said on Thursday.

Bloom said these figures were revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to his questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Ramokgopa said that last year‚ 40‚802 patients were treated in the trauma emergency unit.

This figure consists of 15‚853 orthopaedic injuries; 9‚203 other injuries; 5‚052 assault victims; 3‚235 patients with stab wounds; 2‚601 motor vehicle accident patients; 2‚036 pedestrians who were hit by cars; 1‚628 burn victims; and 949 gunshot patients. There were also 36 suicides by hanging.

Bloom said the violence extended to the hospital’s casualty unit itself‚ where patients sometimes threatened staff.

“Most of these incidents happen over the weekends and public holidays‚ due to the influence of alcohol. They get injured and want to be assisted first when they arrive at casualty‚” explained Ramokgopa.

Bloom said it was distressing that violence and motor accidents put a huge strain on Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

“A broad approach is needed to bring down violent crime and road accidents‚ much of which is fuelled by alcohol‚” he said.

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