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IN NUMBERS | Baragwanath's casualty numbers reflect Gauteng as a 'war zone'

The number of patients going through casualty at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in a year could fill the FNB stadium. File photo.
The number of patients going through casualty at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in a year could fill the FNB stadium. File photo.
Image: Katherine Muick © Sunday Times.

The casualty department at Africa's biggest hospital treated enough people last year to fill FNB stadium to near capacity.

Shocking statistics tell a tale of how staff at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital dealt with violence and trauma as casualty staff treated a total of 84,846 patients in 2018. That's a staggering average of 7,000 per month.

DA MPL Jack Bloom likened the numbers to a “war zone” when he received the statistics from Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku in response to a question posed in the provincial legislature.

The breakdown of incidents is as follows:

  • Trauma 25,674
  • Surgery 14,232
  • Orthopaedics 16,668
  • Medical 28,284.

Of those, 22,238 were directly related to violence and road accidents:

  • Gunshots 1,033
  • Stabbing 3,276
  • Road accidents 4,406
  • Burns 1,605
  • Assaults 4,238
  • Other injuries 7,677

There were also 3,597 psychiatric cases, 1,298 cases of organophosphate poisoning, and 45 suicides by hanging.

Most categories registered a year-on-year increase except for assault cases, which offered a faint glimmer of respite by dropping by several hundred.

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