A retrospective review of 201 patients with stab wounds admitted to an East London Hospital over a period of six years was performed. There was no striking increase in the annual incidence of these injuries over the period reviewed. The majority of patients were young males who arrived at the Accident and Emergency Department after 1800 h on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and had consumed alcohol prior to admission. There were 47 abdominal injuries (23%), 69 thoracic (34%), 51 limb injuries (25%) and 34 injuries involving the head and neck (17%). Forty patients (20%) had injuries involving more than one site. Abdominal stabbings were managed by a selective approach resulting in 28 laparotomies of which only 2 (7%) were negative. Evisceration of small bowel or omentum was always associated with significant intraperitoneal injury.
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