Gunshot injury in children: A 3-year review of cases that presented to the Jos University Teaching Hospital, North Central Nigeria
Abstract: Gunshot injuries among children are a major clinical and public health concern and one of the leading causes of pediatric morbidity and mortality. This usually takes a great financial and emotional toll on the affected children, their families, and society as a whole. The objective of the study was to determine the pattern of injury, severity, outcome, and challenges in managing the gunshot injuries in children. This is a descriptive study of patients below 18 years of age who presented with gunshot injuries to the Jos University Teaching Hospital between January 2011 and December 2014. Patient demographics and clinical details were collected on a trauma data sheet, and entered into an Excel spreadsheet. It was analyzed descriptively. Two hundred and forty-two patients presented with gunshot injuries in the period under review, of which 30 of them were children. The median age of the patients was 12 years with an interquartile range of 7.75 and 16.25. Twenty-two (73.3%) of them were male while 8 (26.7%) were female. High-velocity firearms accounted for 13 (43.3%) of the injuries and were the most predominant cause of injury. The most common part of the body involved was the extremities in 63.3% of patients. Debridement and secondary suturing was carried out in 83.3% of the patients while wound infection was the most noted complication in 33.3% of the patients. There is an increasing incidence of gunshot injuries in this region. A lot of the children survive and reach the hospital though, and most of them are treated and discharged, however, attendant emotional and psychological trauma cannot be excluded in these patients. There is, thus, a need for proper policy to protect and treat these children when this happens.
Keywords: emotional / gunshot injuries / Hospital / survive / extremities / patients / injuries among children
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