Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 455-460

Changing trends in the pattern and outcome of stab injuries at a North London hospital

Department of General Surgery, North Middlesex University Hospital, London, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed M Uzzaman
Department of General Surgery, North Middlesex University Hospital, London
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.86628

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Objective : To study the incidence, pattern and outcome of stab injuries attending a North London Teaching Hospital over a 3-year (2006-2008) period. Materials and Methods : A retrospective review of collected data from the Hospital database was conducted. The database contains comprehensive medical records for all patients attended by the trauma team for deliberate stab injuries. It is updated by the surgical team after each admission. All patients with deliberate penetrating injury who were attended by the service between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2008 were identified. Patients who died in the prehospital phase, those managed exclusively by the emergency department and limb injuries without vascular compromise were excluded from the study. Results : Six hundred and nineteen patients with stab injuries (following knife crime) from North London attended the Hospital in the above period. One hundred and thirty-seven paients required surgical admission. Two were cases of self-inflicted knife injuries. Over the 3-year period the percentage of victims below 20 years of age is increasing. Ninety-three percent of knife crime occured between 6 pm and 6 am; recently moving toward week days from weekend period. Conclusions : The overall rate of penetrating injuries (stab injuries) is slowly declining. Timely cardiothoracic support facility is vital in saving lives with major cardiac stab injuries. Although alcohol drinking restriction has been lifted, most cases of stabbings are still occurring out-of-hours when surgical personnel are limited.

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