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Trauma unit cases double as booze ban lifted

2 June 2020 3:16 PM

Trauma admissions at the country's largest hospital almost doubled overnight as a result of the unbanning of alcohol sales.

Within 24-hours of the sale of alcohol ban being lifted in South Africa, the country's biggest hospital has reported a spike in admissions to its trauma unit.

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg saw nearly double the number of trauma cases on Monday compared to the previous day under level 4 lockdown.

The hospital's CEO Dr Nkele Lesia spoke to Clement Manyathela on The Midday Report.

In 24 hours we observed the number of patients in our trauma unit increased...on 31st May we only saw 66 trauma patients, but yesterday after alcohol was allowed the number almost doubled.

Dr Nkele Lesia, CEO - Chris Baragwanath Hospital

The majority of the patients were actually drunk.

Dr Nkele Lesia, CEO - Chris Baragwanath Hospital

We saw patients with stab wounds, gunshot wounds, and generally assault...clearly the unbanning of alcohol is going to increase the number of trauma cases.

Dr Nkele Lesia, CEO - Chris Baragwanath Hospital

According to Lesia the previous few weeks have seen very few patients being admitted:

During Level 5 lockdown our trauma unit was basically empty. During Level 4 lockdown we saw some cases but they were much reduced.

Dr Nkele Lesia, CEO - Chris Baragwanath Hospital

Lesia says as a facility the hospital is going to face serious challenges going forward as a result of the unbanning of alcohol sales.

During these times of Covid, it is not ideal to have overcrowding, especially in the emergency department.

Dr Nkele Lesia, CEO - Chris Baragwanath Hospital

Listen to the full conversation below:


2 June 2020 3:16 PM

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