Bush animal attacks: management of complex injuries in a resource-limited settingReport as inadecuate

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World Journal of Emergency Surgery

, 6:43

First Online: 22 December 2011Received: 29 October 2011Accepted: 22 December 2011


IntroductionThough animal-related injuries and fatalities have been documented throughout the world, the variety of attacks by wild animals native to rural East Africa are less commonly described. Given the proximity of our northwestern Tanzania hospital to Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and the Serengeti National Park, and presentation of several patients attacked by bush animals and suffering a variety of complex injuries, we sought to report the pattern of attacks and surgical management in a resource-limited setting.

Materials and methodsFour patients who were admitted to the northwestern Tanzania tertiary referral hospital, Bugando Medical Centre BMC, in 2010-2011 suffered attacks by different bush animals: hyena, elephant, crocodile, and vervet monkey. These patients were triaged as trauma patients in the Casualty Ward, then admitted for inpatient monitoring and treatment. Their outcomes were followed to discharge.

ResultsThe age and gender of the patients attacked was variable, though all but the pediatric patient were participating in food gathering or guarding activities in rural locations at the time of the attacks. All patients required surgical management of their injuries, which included debridement and closure of wounds, chest tube insertion, amputation, and external fixation of an extremity fracture. All patients survived and were discharged home.

DiscussionThough human injuries secondary to encounters with undomesticated animals such as cows, moose, and camel are reported, they often are indirect traumas resulting from road traffic collisions. Snake attacks are well documented and common. However, this series of unique bush animal attacks describes the initial and surgical management of human injuries in the resource-limited setting of the developing world.

ConclusionAnimal attacks are common throughout the world, but their pattern may vary in Africa throughout jungle and bush environmental settings. It is important to understand the management of these attacks in resource-limited health care environment. Further, the growing population and human encroachment on previously wild habitats such as the northwestern Tanzania bush argues for increased community awareness to assist in prevention of human injuries by animals.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1749-7922-6-43 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Katrina B Mitchell - Vihar R Kotecha - Alphonce Chandika

Source: https://link.springer.com/


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