Firearms are among the leading instruments used in the perpetration of violence and injury. Proliferation and abuse of small arms and light weapons has been the major culprit in the East and Central Africa region. This study analyzes the direct costs incurred by patients treated at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) for firearm injuries. This was a 10 year hospital based descriptive retrospective study conducted at the largest Teaching and Referral Hospital in the region.
Results A total of 1804 patients were recorded to have been admitted and treated for firearm injuries. Most patients among the survivors were shot in the lower limbs and pelvis 726 (43%) followed by upper limbs 342 (20%), then chest and abdomen 276 (16%) and 243 (14%), respectively. Sixty eight per cent of the patients were managed under general anaesthesia, 20% under local while 7% were conservatively managed. The total number of days spent by firearm injury patients in hospital was 31 772 days, these hospital bed days translates to about Ksh. 158 860 000 (USD 2.2 million) On average FAI victims spent 17.6 days in hospital, those who died from firearm injuries on average lived for 11 days before succumbing to their injuries. The average total cost of managing a single firearm injury at KNH was calculated to be about Ksh. 759 000 this equivalent to USD 10 000 ( USD 1 = Ksh. 75 ).
Note This study was conducted by the authors on behalf of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).
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