INTRODUCTION : Interpersonal violence cases make up a significant portion of the trauma cases seen in emergency
centres in South Africa. Community assaults are extremely violent attacks on suspected perpetrators by members
of the community aimed at inflicting serious injury. The aim of this study was to profile the major interpersonal
violence cases at Kalafong Hospital with emphasis on the community assaults and how this group compares with
non- community assaults regarding demographics, surgical intervention and mortality.
METHODS : A retrospective analysis was conducted of the major interpersonal violence cases seen over a one-year
period (1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016) at Kalafong Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa. Data was manually
collected and entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The Stata 13 statistical program was used for data
RESULTS : During the study period, a total of 578 cases were analysed. Penetrating trauma accounted for 446
(77.2%) cases and blunt trauma for 132 (22.8%) cases. The number of community assault cases was 75 (12.9%).
A total of 28 deaths were recorded during this period. Community assaults accounted for 13 (46.4%) of these
deaths. Community assault cases had a significantly higher mortality compared to non-community assault cases
with 17.3% versus 3%; Odds ratio 6.82 (95% CI 3.04–15.33, p < 0.001). The community assault group also
showed a statistically significant difference in the intensive care admission rate with 15.3% compared to 6.9% in
the interpersonal violence cases; Odds ratio 2.41 (CI 1.07–5.43, p = 0.028).
CONCLUSION : Community assault cases may present with similar demographics when compared to non-community
assault cases, but the difference in disposition and outcome was highlighted in this study with a higher intensive
care unit admission rate and a higher mortality rate. A multi-centre follow-up study is recommended to compare
demographics across Pretoria and to monitor trends in this subgroup of interpersonal violence cases.