Carnival wasn’t so quiet, according to hospital data

By Sandhya Santoo, Trinidad Express

INJURY due to assaults was one of the main reasons people sought treatment from public health institutions over the Carnival period.

In a report submitted from the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA), Eastern Regional Health Authority (ERHA) and Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) showed the figures for Carnival of the number of people who visited medical facilities seeking treatment for trauma related instances. This data was compiled from all the medical facilities within the regional health authority districts. Despite repeated attempts to reach out to the North Central and North West Regional Health Authorities, no data was shared.

The SWRHA reportedly had 293 trauma related incidents from Friday 1 to Ash Wednesday. Of this figure there was a total of 77 people who were treated for assault injuries. Some other cases where people were treated included 69 for motor vehicular accidents, 50 for injury caused by falls, 41 for cuts and bruises, and 33 for general trauma to the body. Three individuals were brought in for gunshots wounds, five for stabbing and three for glass bottle injuries.

In Tobago, there were 20 incidents of trauma. Medical professionals at the Scarborough General Hospital treated 13 people for lacerations as a result for assaults, two stabbings and five for intoxications, between the period March 3 to Carnival Tuesday.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the TRHA, Michelle Edwards-Benjamin, commended the staff in the Accident and Emergency Department and all staff, who worked to ensure that the necessary care was provided to all clients around the clock.

“Our doctors, nurses, EMT’s nursing assistants, Wards Maids, Health Attendants and CSR’s serve as a source of inspiration to the rest of the team. At the same time, I would like to encourage persons to avoid getting into situations where they lose control, as in the case of intoxication, which could trigger acts of violence. Carnival and other festivities are times that should be enjoyed to the fullest and that time should not be spent in an A&E Department for something that is totally preventable,” said Edwards-Benjamin.

The ERHA dealt with 68 cases of trauma for the Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

There were 14 assault incidents with an object involved or by bodily force (fights). Other injuries included 26 cases of motor vehicular accidents, seven stabbings, 18 lacerations treated, and three individuals who consumed poisonous substances.