Pattern at Presentation of Extremity Gunshot Injuries in Warri, Nigeria
Keywords:Gunshot injuries, Extremities, Fractures
Background: Gunshot injuries (GSI) in civilian populations are becoming more common worldwide. The result is significant morbidity, mortality and disability particularly among the young active productive males who are often the most frequently affected. The wide spread socio-economic down turn and small arms proliferation particularly in developing countries might be partly responsible for this.
This study aims to further highlight the pattern, including aetiology and the emerging significance of GSI in Warri pointing out the need for urgent and appropriate action by all concerned.
Methodology: A prospective study of consecutive gunshot injury patients who presented at the Central Hospital and two other private health facilities in Warri between 1st of January and 31st of December, 2011. Relevant data were collected using previously prepared forms, collated and analysed with SPSS version 17.
Results: Eighty five patients presented with GSI during the study period. This consisted of 78 males and 7 females giving a male: female ratio of 11.1:1. The mean age of patients was 34.23+13.22years with the most frequently affected age group being that of 16-30 years. Most patients (51.76%) were shot by armed robbers, traders being the most frequently affected (28.2%). Ninety six injuries were sustained by the 85 patients with 52 fractures. High velocity weapons were used more frequently.
Conclusion: Gunshot injuries are common in Warri. Armed robbery is frequently responsible. Practising trauma surgeons here need to be abreast with modern treatment modalities for GSI and our health facilities should be equipped to meet the challenges. There is also need for improvement in the socio-economic conditions of the people, youth reorientation and empowerment programmes and more proactive measures towards addressing security challenges.
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