Emergency medical services (EMS) responded to more than 10 000 cases – about a third of them life-threatening – over the long weekend in the Western Cape.
These incidents ranged from stabbing wounds, hikers who needed to be rescued, and pedestrians on roads, among others.
“Unfortunately, most of the incidents attended to by the EMS involved weapon assaults, which ranged from knife stab wounds to gun violence. For further treatment, many patients were transported to the Tygerberg, Worcester and Groote Schuur Hospitals,” said Byron la Hoe, Department of Health spokesperson.
From midnight on Friday December 23 to 10am on Wednesday December 28, 4 799 trauma cases were recorded at 41 emergency centres (ECs) across the province.
These included 1 174 stabbings, 1 099 cases of blunt force trauma, 225 motor-vehicle related injuries and 183 pedestrian-related injuries, 67 gunshot wounds, 1 127 accidental injuries and 113 self-inflicted injuries.
Most of the reported trauma cases were seen in Cape Town facilities – 228 of them at Delft Community Health Clinic (CHC), 227 at Kraaifontein CHC, 226 at Worcester Hospital, 217 at Paarl Hospital, 210 at Khayelitsha Hospital, 207 at Gugulethu CHC, 168 at Mitchells Plain Hospital and 193 at Elsies River CHC.
EMS personnel received 1 802 complaints related to chest pains, 1 270 weapon assaults, and 934 respiratory complaints.
Some of the communities they responded to, in which they were accompanied by police, included Beacon Valley where 75 incidents were reported, 78 in Tafelsig, 47 in Hanover Park and 16 in Chicago.
Mr La Hoe said EMS responded to 237 transport-related incidents, 123 of which involved pedestrians, 97 involved light motor vehicles, 10 involved motor cyclists, four involved minibus taxis, and three involved cyclists.
“As 2022 draws to a close, the EMS requests all road users to play their part by always practising good road safety habits. Please be alert, be considerate, and be especially careful around vulnerable road users – children, older people, cyclists and motorcyclists,” Mr La Hoe concluded.
People can dial 10177 or 0860 142 142 in case of an emergency.