Trauma doctors' war on death in Cape Town hospitals and 5 other highlights from Vrye Weekblad

Here's what's hot in the latest online edition of the Afrikaans digital weekly

13 September 2019 - 09:24 By TimesLIVE
The team at Groote Schuur's trauma unit tries to save another life during a weekend shift.
The team at Groote Schuur's trauma unit tries to save another life during a weekend shift.
Image: ELSABÉ BRITS

The "war" on the streets of Cape Town and the carnage on the city’s roads spit out their victims at trauma centres of over-burdened hospitals, where a war against death is waged daily. Weekends are the worst.

Elsabé Brits spent 13 hours in Groote Schuur’s trauma centre on a busy weekend nightshift. Read all about it in this week's edition of Afrikaans digital weekly Vrye Weekblad.


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Interpersonal violence in the city has escalated so dramatically that the number of shooting victims Prof Andrew Nicol and his team at the trauma unit have to deal with has risen from an average of 37 a month to 73. At Tygerberg, in the northern suburbs, the average is currently 107 a month.

In one month, the trauma unit treats about 1,000 patients, of whom 60% are victims of interpersonal violence, 30% are injured in road accidents and the rest suffer other trauma.

Most of them come straight from the scenes to Nicol’s team. Some broken beyond repair.

“There is a civil war out there,” Nicol says. “We get the end results. We do whatever we can to save lives.”

And when they don’t, there is no time to mourn the dead, because the next case is waiting.

The full article is in this week's Vrye Weekblad:


5 other must-read articles in this week's Vrye Weekblad

FREE TO READ –  VIOLENCE | We need to understand why violence has become SA's 12th language.  

FREE TO READ — NEW CHALLENGE, OLD TRICKS | The old KGB strategies of kompromat and dezinformatsiya have reared their ugly heads as a few prominent politicians' day in court nears.

THRILLER IN HARARE | From his days as freedom fighter to his leadership of a newborn democracy and his eventual end as a non-hero in a Singapore hospital — the life and times of Robert Mugabe reads like a thriller. 

QUICK FACTS | All you need to know about the ongoing SA Express debacle.  

SPECIAL OFFER | And last, not a story, but a great offer — subscribe to Vrye Weekblad before September 15 and you could win a wine hamper worth more than R250. Only R10 for your first month!

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