Casualty crisis at Leratong Hospital

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

The casualty department at Leratong hospital on the West Rand was overwhelmed this weekend with 102 patients on Saturday night, 58 of whom had suffered serious trauma.

Some of these patients only received treatment by midday on Sunday.

All doctors were on duty, but could not cope with the high number and severity of the injuries.

Three patients were partially disembowelled, and had to have their stomachs sown back in, an operation that takes more than three hours.

According to staff, casualties increase dramatically at the month end and over weekends.

Leratong Hospital serves the entire West Rand, and even gets patients from Roodepoort in Johannesburg.

It needs more staff and facilities in order to cope with casualties.

Prevention programmes should also focus on alcohol abuse as this is a major cause of injuries.