Management of the mass casualty from the 2001 Jos crisis
Background: We report our experience in the hospital management of mass casualty following the Jos civil crisis of 2001.
Materials and Methods: Aretrospective analysis of the records of patients managed in the Jos civil crisis of September 2001, in Plateau State, Nigeria. Information extracted included demographic data of patients, mechanisms of injury, nature and site of injury, treatment modalities and outcome of care.
Results: A total of 463 crisis victims presented over a 5 day period. Out of these, the records of 389 (84.0%) were available and analyzed. There were 348 (89.5%) males and 41 females (10.5%) aged between 3 weeks and 70 years, with a median age of 26 years. Most common mechanisms of injury were gunshot in 176 patients (45.2%) and blunt injuries from clubs and sticks in 140 patients (36.0%). Debridement with or without suturing was the most common surgical procedure, performed in 128 patients (33%) followed by exploratory laparotomy in 27 (6.9%) patients. Complications were documented in 55 patients (14.1%) and there were 16 hospital deaths (4.1% mortality). Challenges included exhaustion of supplies, poor communication and security threats both within the hospital and outside.
Conclusion: Most patients reaching the hospital alive had injuries that did not require lifesaving interventions. Institutional preparedness plan would enable the hospital to have an organized approach to care, with better chances of success. More effective means of containing crises should be employed to reduce the attendant casualty rate.
Key words: Challenges, civilian conflicts, crisis, disaster, mass casualty, trauma, violence