How hospital trauma cases dropped in lockdown from 2019

25 August 2020 - 09:58 By TimesLIVE
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. File image
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. File image

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto had 2,797 emergency cases in April and May, compared with 5,163 cases for the same period last year.

In July, the facility recorded 1,326 emergencies compared with 2,363 for the same month in 2019.

This is according to Gauteng health department data, released on Tuesday.

A reduction of trauma cases during the Covid-19 lockdown was also dramatic at other state hospitals in the province.

Tembisa Tertiary Hospital recorded 5,540 cases for April and May this year compared to 8,803 for the same period in 2019.

The Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Tshwane had a notable difference of 4,614 emergency cases for the period covering April and May in 2020 compared with 7,583 for the same months in the preceding year.

The data for emergency cases since the declaration of level 2 and the unbanning of alcohol is still being collected but the Gauteng acting MEC for health, Jacob Mamabolo, has called on the public to drink responsibly.

“The correlation between alcohol consumption and the number of emergency cases presenting at public hospitals is undeniable. This puts pressure on the health system,” he said.

While not all trauma cases require a bed or overnight admission, he said: “The number of emergency room admissions increased in June but decreased again in July after the ban.”

“The direct effect of trauma cases is that a bed that could have been used for other services, including Covid-19, are now taken up by alcohol-related cases.”

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