Trauma care systems in South Africa

Injury. 2003 Sep;34(9):704-8. doi: 10.1016/s0020-1383(03)00153-0.


Aim: To provide an overview of the provision of trauma care in South Africa, a middle income country emerging into a democratic state.

Methods: Literature review.

Conclusions: South Africa is gripped by an almost hidden epidemic of intentional and non-intentional injury, largely driven by alcohol and substance abuse, against a background of poverty and rapid urbanisation. Gross inequities exist in the provision of trauma care. Access to pre-hospital care and overloading of tertiary facilities are the major inefficiencies to be addressed. The burden of disease due to trauma presents unique opportunities for reconstruction and clinical research.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents / statistics & numerical data
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • National Health Programs*
  • Pregnancy
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Traumatology / education
  • Traumatology / organization & administration*
  • Urbanization / trends
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control