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Epidemiology of armed robbery related gunshot injuries in Maiduguri, Nigeria

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Background and Objectives: Gunshot Injuries used to be rare in Nigeria until the civil war of 1967–1970. Unfortunately, it has become very rampant recently. The objective of this paper is to look at the epidemiology of armed robbery related gunshot injuries as seen in the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital over a five year period. Materials and Methods: Data on patients that presented with gunshot injuries within the study period (January 2002 to December 2006) were collected and analyzed retrospectively. Results: We studied 129 patients with gunshot injuries that were managed during the study period. This comprises of 117 males and 12 females (M:F=9.8:1). Eighty four (65.1%) were young males between 20 and 40 years. One hundred and fifteen (89.2%) of the 129 victims were shot by armed robbers, the remaining 14 (10.8%) were shot under other circumstances not related to armed robbery. Analysis of the time of attack revealed 72% of victims were attacked at night. Over 80% of victims were shot along the highway. The anatomical sites of gunshot entry wound show the extremities having the highest of 46.1%. Ninety one (79.1%) victims were treated operatively while 16 (13.9%) were treated nonoperatively. Conclusion: Armed robbery is the motive behind most gunshot injuries in Nigeria. Most of these attacks are preventable if the government would support and motivate the security apparatus responsible. There is also need for the government to support the victims by shouldering their treatment and subsequent rehabilitation. Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Jan-Mar 2012 Vol 15 Issue 1

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