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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-79

Non-trauma related paediatric abdominal surgical emergencies in Lagos, Nigeria: Epidemiology and indicators of survival

Department of Surgery, Paediatric Surgery Unit, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, PMB 12003, Idi Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adesoji O Ademuyiwa
Paediatric Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi Araba, Lagos, PMB 12003, Idi Araba, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.103546

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Background : Pediatric surgical emergencies are associated with higher morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology of non-trauma related pediatric abdominal surgical emergencies in our centre and determine the indicators for survival in a cohort of patients. Patients and Methods : A retrospective study of children aged 1 day to 15 years who presented with non-trauma related abdominal emergencies at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Results : There were 129 children. The median age at presentation was 5 months (range: 1 day-15 years). There were 104 males and 25 females. Sixty-four (49.6%) patients presented within 48 hours of the onset of the symptoms while 65 (50.4%) presented after 48 hours. Intestinal obstruction is the commonest indication for pediatric emergency surgery in our centre accounting for 76 patients (58.9%). Appendicitis is the second most common indication for emergency surgery with 13 patients (10.1%). Thirteen patients (10.1%) had postoperative complications. There were 13 deaths in all (10.1% mortality rate). Eleven out of 43 (25.6%) neonates died compared with 2 (2.3%) out of 86 patients in the other age groups (P=0.002). Seven out of 107 (6.5%) patients that had surgery within 72 hours died while 5/22 (22.7%) patients died who had surgery after 72 hours (P=0.003). There were 4 mortalities (28.6%) among patients with postoperative complications compared with 9 (7.8%) mortalities among 116 patients without any postoperative complications (Pp=0.001). Conclusion : Intestinal obstruction is the commonest pediatric surgical emergency seen in LUTH. Neonatal age, admission to surgery intervention time >72 hours, and severe postoperative complications are associated with high mortality.

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