Although violence related injuries are on the increase in Sri Lanka, proper violence prevention policies are lacking in the country. This study aimed to explore the prevalence and patterns of the violence related injuries admitted to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) during the year 2016, and propose possible violence prevention interventions.
We collected the data of all the patients that were admitted to the NHSL due to violence related injuries from January to December 2016; NHSL is the highest tertiary care facility in the Sri Lanka. Using Microsoft Excel 2016, we analyzed the injury patterns, causes, and injury severity of admissions.
In 2016, altogether 39 757 patients were admitted to NHSL due to injuries. Of them, 3029 (7.7%) reported violence related injuries; 71.1% (2154) of them were male. While 80.6% of all injured people reported severe injuries, only 19.4% reported minor injuries; this could be because only the severely injured people sought health care after their injuries. Males between 20–50 years old and females between 20–50 years old reported 40.0% and 15.3% of all severe injuries respectively. Importantly, 90.2% of the injuries were due to interpersonal violence. Partners (11%), friends (13%), relatives (15%), and known persons (30%) were the commonly reported perpetrators of injuries.
According to the admissions of the highest tertiary care center in Sri Lanka, the majority of violence related severe injuries are experienced by young men and women between 20–50 years old. Since they are the most productive population in the country, this trend can adversely affect the country’s economy. As interpersonal violence is the commonest reason for the injuries, strict law implementation and introducing violence prevention policies might reduce violence related injuries in Sri Lanka. Community awareness on violence prevention could also reduce these injuries.