Stabbing wounds top trauma incidents for New Year’s weekend

The top three trauma cases at emergency facilities were stabbings, blunt assaults and motor-vehicle related injuries. File picture.

During the New Year’s weekend, which saw fewer medical emergencies than the Christmas long weekend, more than 920 stabbing incidents were reported.

At the Christmas long weekend, more than 10 200 cases were reported to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Almost 4 800 of these were trauma cases.

From midnight Friday December 30 to 10am on Tuesday January 3, a total of 3534 trauma cases were reported to 41 emergency centres (ECs) across the province. A further 9 555 patients needed non-trauma medical care.

Top trauma cases at these 41 facilities were: 920 stabbings, 767 blunt assaults, 117 motor-vehicle related injuries and 136 pedestrian-related injuries, 65 gunshot wounds, 762 accidental injuries and 75 self-harm injuries.

“Though preparedness plans for our facilities are in place, preventable trauma cases always place additional pressure on them. Most of the reported trauma cases were seen within the Cape Metro at facilities such as Delft Community Health Centre (201), Kraaifontein CHC (193), Paarl Hospital (171), Gugulethu CHC (164), and Khayelitsha Hospital (163),” the Department of Health said in a media statement

“Though at times dangerous and challenging, our EMS crews also attended to several calls in permanently identified Red Zone areas such as Beacon Valley (69), Tafelsig (69), both in Mitchell’s Plain, Hanover Park (29), and Chicago (16), in Paarl.”

The department said on provincial roads, the EMS responded to 149 transport-related incidents of which 69 involved pedestrians, 71 were light motor vehicles, four involving motorcyclists, three involving minibus taxis, and two involving cyclists. The search-and-rescue teams also responded to 17 incidents, of which nine were on Table Mountain.

“The Western Cape Department of Health again thanks our citizens and residents for their responsible behaviour over this long weekend, which afforded our staff the necessary space and capacity to provide quality healthcare to our clients ,” the statement read.