Civilian cerebral gunshot wounds: a South African experience.
Kong V., Odendaal J., Sartorius B., Clarke D., Brysiewicz P., Jerome E., Bruce J., Laing G.
BackgroundCerebral gunshot wounds represent one of the most lethal forms of traumatic brain injury, but there is a paucity of literature on the topic, especially from the developing world. We reviewed our experience and describe the spectrum and outcome of civilian cerebral gunshot wounds in a major metropolitan trauma centre in South Africa.MethodsThis was a retrospective study of all patients with isolated cerebral gunshot wounds managed by the Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Trauma Service over a 5-year period from 2010 to 2014.ResultsOne hundred and two patients were included, 92% (94/102) were male and the mean age was 29 years. Fifty-four per cent (55/102) of all patients were from urban areas. The mean time from injury to arrival was 6 h (standard deviation: 5) for urban patients and 15 h (standard deviation: 5.2) for rural patients (P ConclusionsCerebral gunshot wounds are associated with significant mortality and protracted delay to definitive care is common in our setting. Those who survive the delayed transfer to definitive care generally do well and have reasonably good clinical outcomes.