Civilian Gunshot injuries to the Oro-facial region in Calabar, South-South Nigeria, 2002-2006
Background: This article reviews 16 cases of civilian gunshot injuries of the oro-facial region seen at University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar over a 5-year period and highlights the rising trend in the occurrence of gun shot injuries to the orofacial region as experienced in the south-south region of Nigeria Methodology: Records of 16 patients with different types of gunshot injuries to the oro-facial region seen and treated at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar between 2002 and 2006 were reviewed. The focus was on the patient\'s age, gender, type of weapons used, the surrounding circumstances (accidental or intentional), the time of occurrence and management. Results: Out of 16 patients seen, 14 (87.5%) were males and 2 (12.5%) were females, giving a male to female ratio of 7:1, with the age range from 18 to 50 years. Thirteen (81.3%) of the patients were injured by low velocity missile while 3 (18.7%) by high velocity missile. Violence was responsible for 14 cases (81.7%), and 2 cases (18.3%) was due to the accidental discharge. Conclusion: This study has shown an increasing occurrence of gunshot injuries to the oro-facial region in our environment with males more affected than females. With the changing political situation, social advancement and urbanization, there is a need to regulate the influx of deadly weapons in the country by the relevant agencies. Maxillofacial surgeons should also brace up to the new development as this poses a new kind of challenge to our knowledge of trauma management.
Keywords: Gunshot injuries, Oro-facial region, Calabar, South-south Nigeria
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (3) 2008: pp. 257-260