17 September 2010

Cost of a bullet in SA

127 000 gunshot wounds in SA. Have you ever wondered about the real cost of a fire-arm injury?

Sleeping with a gun under your pillow in South Africa is not that uncommon.

Given the soaring crime rates, people live in a constant state of fear and understandably many have taken precautionary measures to try and protect themselves and their loved ones.

Sometimes this heightened state of anxiety and terror can result in tragedy – as witnessed last week, when a Sandton man mistakenly shot and killed his domestic worker’s 12-year-old son whom he mistook for an intruder.

The organisation is calling for a Gun-Free 2010 World Cup in South Africa, following the shooting of an ANC councillor and member of the World Cup local organising committee earlier this year.

  • Young male adults made up the majority of gunshot victims (87%) with an average age of 28 years.
  • Most of them were unmarried (89%).
  • Most patients sought medical care between 7pm and 7am and mostly over weekends.
  • The distribution of bullet entry wounds shows that most of gunshot injuries were in the legs, chest area and head.
  • The average length of stay was 5.8 days at an average cost of R2 714 ($US 385) per day.
  • Most patients (95%) underwent diagnostic imaging and 38% required surgical procedures in theatre.
  • Blood products were given to 16%.



ManYour life

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.