WC EMS had busy long weekend with more than 3 600 trauma cases reported

The Western Cape’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) had an ‘unusually’ busy long weekend as paramedics respond to 47 incidents involving pedestrians in the Cape Metro. Furthermore, paramedics responded to a total of 187 road traffic-related incidents. Of these, 92 were reported in the Cape Metro, 35 in Cape Winelands, 27 in Garden Route, 16 in Overberg, 12 on the West Coast, and 5 in Central Karoo.

Western Cape’s Head of Health, Dr. Saadiq Karriem, urged road uses to abide by the law.

‘’ Being considerate is an essential part of sharing the road and ensuring the safety of all road users, but unfortunately over this long weekend too many road users did not demonstrate this courtesy. The Western Cape Department of Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) appeals to motorists to travel more slowly when approaching pedestrians, and for pedestrians to wear visible clothing when they walk next to a road. The fewer incidents on our roads, the more quickly our response agencies can attend to other emergencies.’’

EMS officials also attended to 6 162 incidents in the province, of which 31% was attributed to life-threatening conditions that required urgent treatment.

The main incident types included weapon assaults (1 068), chest pain/ discomfort (931); respiratory complaints (535); physical assaults (494); obstetric complaints (367); neurological complaints (281); abdominal complaints (247); domestic injuries (237), vomiting/ diarrhoea (216), and musculoskeletal complaints (206).

‘’As the year draws to a close, the EMS will continue to respond to calls for help, 24/7, in communities by saving lives from heart attacks, treating injuries due to road traffic incidents, transporting clients between health care facilities, and providing care in response to many other incidents that occur daily in our province,’’ said Karriem.

Furthermore, officials responded to 3 661 trauma cases presented to 43 emergency centres (ECs) across the province, over the entire long weekend. Most of the reported trauma cases were seen within the Cape Metro at facilities such as Delft CHC (220), Kraaifontein CHC (195), Khayelitsha Hospital (194), Tygerberg Hospital (184) Mitchells Plain Hospital (168), Gugulethu CHC (167) and Paarl Hospital (167).     

 ‘’Our hospitals and 24-hour community health centres (CHC) are geared for the increase in expected cases although most of the trauma cases are preventable,’’ said Western Cape’s Head of Health, Dr. Saadiq Karriem.

In addition to these trauma cases, EMS also treated 6 712 patients coming for non-trauma related health care.

‘’Over holiday periods, unfortunately, we do see many motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other trauma cases of injuries due to interpersonal violence and chronic conditions which deteriorate and require medical care. Our colleagues in the Mobility department have done several road-safety awareness campaigns for the festive season and will also have significant law enforcement officers on important routes to ensure that road-users obey the rules of the road,’’ he added.



Done By: Everngelista Muza


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