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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-106

Prospective analysis of extremity gunshot injuries treated in a Nigerian regional trauma center

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
2 Department of Surgery, Ebonyi State University and Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebony, Nigeria
3 Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ndubuisi O Onyemaechi
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_27_19

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Background: Extremity gunshot injuries are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in our environment. They pose a management challenge because of the complex soft tissue and bony injuries. Objectives: The objectives of this study was to determine the pattern and treatment outcomes of these injuries in our setting. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective study of extremity gunshot injuries treated at National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria over a 12-month period. Results: Fifty-five patients were studied, with a mean age of 36.9 ± 13.39 years and a male-to-female ratio of 8.2:1. The two top causes of gunshot injuries were armed robbery (41; 74.5%) and assaults/communal clash (6; 10.9%), and the most common type of gun was the rifle (21; 38.2%). Gunshot fracture was the commonest type of injury among the patients (39, 70.9%). Only 34.5.1% of our patients presented to hospital within the first 6h. Secondary wound closure was the commonest method of wound cover. Majority of the gunshot fractures were treated non-operatively. The duration of hospitalization ranged from 2 days to 13 weeks with a mean duration of 4.9 weeks. Late presentation, presence of fracture, and wound infection were associated with prolonged hospital stay. Outcome of treatment was good in 80% of patients and the mortality rate was 1.8%. Conclusion: The young adult males are more involved in extremity gunshot injuries. The fracture rate of these injuries is high with associated increased morbidity. Effective control measures aimed at reducing the incidence of gunshot injuries will reduce the negative socioeconomic impact of these injuries.

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