n South African Journal of Surgery - The epidemiology and cost of trauma to the orthopaedic department at a secondary-level hospital : trauma




Trauma in South Africa is indeed a 'malignant epidemic'. Approximately 70 000 South Africans die every year, and a further 3.5 million seek care at health care facilities, as a result of trauma. From 1990 to 2020 there is likely to be a significant increase in the injury-related burden of disease in sub-Saharan Africa unless effective prevention measures are put in place. Approximately 9 000 people are killed on South Africa's roads every year, and 33 000 seriously injured. Our road traffic death rate of 11.7 per 100 million kilometres travelled ranks in the top 10 in the world. Nationally, 39% of those killed on the road are pedestrians, although this figure has decreased from 47% in 1987. <br>This study attempted to outline the epidemiological pattern of trauma and the costs of this trauma over a year in the orthopaedic department at a single secondary-level urban hospital in Durban. For the purposes of this study, trauma was defined as injury arising from assault, gunshot or motor vehicle accidents (MVAs).


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