Firearm injuries cause significant morbidity and mortality among its victims. The present study, carried out at a major tertiary care hospital of Peshawar, Pakistan was aimed at highlighting the extent and severity of firearm-related morbidity and resultant mortality despite expert medical care.
All victims of firearm injury brought to the Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar Emergency Department and thereafter admitted to hospital wards during the period mid-2006 to mid-2007 were included in the study prospectively regardless of age, gender or socio-economic status. Data relevant to the background of firearm use, type of firearm used, types and extents of injuries, clinical condition of the patients and final outcome were collected on performas and entered into SPSS 15.0 for analysis.
Seventy-four cases of firearm injury were recorded during the study period, with a predominant male to female ratio (9.6:1). Most victims (79.7%) were in the age group of 15-35 years. Although there were more cases from Peshawar (28.4%), there was no major referral pattern noted. High velocity weapons were used in 95.9% of cases and homicide was the main motive for injury (60.8%). Injuries were sustained most frequently in the abdomen and pelvis (44.6%) and 67.6% of victims sustained internal injuries. There were only 5 (6.8%) deaths from firearm injuries.
It is concluded, the young males of the population must be targeted for lifestyle adjustments such as training to refrain from anger or disputes (usually over petty things) and to prevent the easy access of firearms as a weapon to settle disputes.