Analysis Of Gunshot Injuries In A Semi-Urban Community In Nigeria
Background: Gunshot injuries are taking a worrisome dimension in all parts of Nigeria with associated significant morbidity mortality. Most cases of gun shot injuries in our community prefer to be managed by traditional healers rather than medical doctors. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the pattern and outcome of gun shot injuries in Ikpoba Hill; a sub-urban community in Edo State. The study also seeks to determine incidence of gunshot injuries as seen at the study centre and to also determine why most patients with gunshot injuries prefer to be managed by traditional healers.
Patients and Methods: The case files of all the cases of gunshot injuries managed at Our Clinic/Medical Centre over a five year (January 2003 to December 2007) period were analysed.
Results: Gun shot injuries were more common in individuals in their 3rd decade of life and most injuries occurred between the hours of 1.00am and 4.00am. Pellets were the commonest offending agents and superficial soft injuries were the commonest form of injuries. Over 60% of the patients discharged themselves against medical advice. Late presentation was a prominent finding in most patients. The case fatality was 5.8%; sepsis being the commonest cause of death.
Conclusion: Gunshot injuries are quite common in Benin City. Most of the
patients present very late with attendant consequence of significant morbidity and mortality. Health education is essential in this regard with a view to encouraging early presentation to hospital.
Keywords: Analysis of gunshot injuries