Research

Trauma unit workload at King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

K K Pillay, A Ross, S van der Linde

Abstract


Each year, 70 000 South Africans are killed by trauma and a further 3.5 million seek trauma care. We analysed 1 465 trauma patients at the regional-level King Edward VIII hospital (KE8H) in eThekwini Municipality. Mean patient age was 29 years. Peaks in patient numbers were observed mid-month, at month-end, between 08h00 and 12h00 daily and on Saturday and Sunday nights. Most injuries occurred on roads, at informal settlements and at bars/shebeens. More than 44% of injuries had a violent cause. The pattern of presentation was more in line with a primary healthcare setting than a referral centre. Reliable and accurate injury trend information is required for effective strategies to curb South Africa’s high injury mortality and morbidity rates. Epidemiological databases are needed, as well as safe, robust and ethical systems for collecting, collating, analysing and disseminating non-fatal injury-related data.

Authors' affiliations

K K Pillay, Department of Family Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, and Trauma Unit, King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban

A Ross, Department of Family Medicine, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal

S van der Linde, Department of Public Health, Programme for Bioethics and Biostatistics, College of Heath Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal

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Keywords

Trauma, Emergency,Triage,

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(5):307-308.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-11-16
Date published: 2012-03-07

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