- Emergency services had their hands full over the long weekend.
- Teams responded to more than 10 000 incidents.
- Most of the incidents involved assaults with weapons.
Emergency services had their hands full attending to more than 10 000 medical emergencies over the Christmas long weekend in the Western Cape.
Provincial health services were already bracing themselves for yet another bumper long weekend, with even more incidents expected.
The Western Cape health department's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel responded to 10 245 incidents, of which 32% involved life-threatening cases.
EMS spokesperson Byron La Hoe said incidents ranged from hikers needing to be rescued off Table Mountain to more than 123 pedestrians suffering injuries.
"Unfortunately, most of the incidents attended to by the EMS involved weapon assaults, ranging from knife stab wounds to gun violence."
He said patients were transported to the Tygerberg, Worcester and Groote Schuur Hospitals for treatment.
Among the injuries were 1 802 patients suffering from chest pains, 1 270 incidents of weapon assaults, 934 patients suffering respiratory complaints and 739 physical assaults.
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"The EMS, with an escort from police, attended to several incidents in neighbourhoods, including Beacon Valley (75), Tafelsig (78), Hanover Park (47) and Chicago, in Paarl (16).
"From 00h00 on Friday morning to 10h00 on Wednesday (today), 4 799 trauma cases presented to 41 emergency centres across the province linked to our Hospital Emergency Centre Triage and Information System.
"Trauma-related breakdown at these 41 facilities included 1 174 stabbings, 1 099 blunt assaults, 225 motor-vehicle related injuries and 183 pedestrian related injuries, 67 gunshot wounds, 1 127 accidental injuries and 113 self-harm injuries," La Hoe said.
Most of the reported trauma cases were in the Cape Metro at facilities such as Delft CHC (228), Kraaifontein CHC (227), Worcester Hospital (226), Paarl Hospital (217), Khayelitsha Hospital (210), Gugulethu CHC, Mitchells Plain Hospital (168), Gugulethu CHC (207) and Elsies River CHC (193).
La Hoe said hospitals and 24-hour community health centres (CHC) were geared for the increase in expected cases over the New Year's weekend.