An audit of gunshot injuries seen in the accident and emergency department of a Nigerian tertiary hospital

West Afr J Med. Oct-Dec 2006;25(4):295-7.


Aim: An audit of gunshot injuries was conducted at the University College Hospital to determine the pattern of injuries.

Materials and methods: All records of patients who presented with gunshot injuries to the accident and emergency department of the University College Hospital for one year were retrieved. Data obtained from the records included demographic data (age and sex), anatomical regions involved, the type of missile classification, the circumstances surrounding the incident and the patient's vital signs at presentation. The severity of injury was computed using the injury severity score.

Results: Eighty out of ninety patients' records were seen. There were 15 females (18.75%) and 65 (81.25%) males with mean ages of 25.60 years and 35.42 years respectively . The most common cause of gunshot injuries was armed robbery attack (71.3%) while the extremities (upper limbs and lower limbs) were the most common areas of injury (61.3%). Armed robbery was the most frequent cause of injuries.

Conclusion: Low velocity missiles are predominant. The lower limb is the most commonly injured area. Armed robbery is the most common cause of such injuries. Most gunshot injuries are physiologically stable at presentation. Suicidal intent is still rare.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • Wounds, Gunshot / classification
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology*