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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

A review of pediatric mortalities in the emergency units of Nigerian tertiary hospitals

Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ogochukwu N Iloh
Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, 400002.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_37_19

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Background: Information on causes of death is needed to assess trends in disease burden, prioritize interventions, plan for their delivery, and ascertain the effectiveness of disease-specific interventions. The aim of this study was to review the postneonatal mortality pattern in the different pediatric emergency units of the tertiary hospitals across the country, and to propose ways of strengthening the emergency units for more effective health service delivery. Materials and Methods: Available literature on mortality in pediatric emergency units across the tertiary health institutions in Nigeria was reviewed. Neonates as well as studies that combined ward admissions with emergency room admissions were excluded. Analysis was mainly descriptive and results presented using prose, tables, and charts. Results: A total of 11 studies were analyzed. The crude mortality rate was 82 per 1000 admissions. Approximately 60% of the deaths occurred within the first 24h of presentation. The major causes of death were severe malaria (17.9%), sepsis (14.5%), acute gastroenteritis (13.7%), pneumonia (8.9%), and protein-energy malnutrition (97.7%). Sepsis and severe anemia had the highest case fatality rates, with 20.0% and 19.6%, respectively. Late presentation, unconsciousness, seizure, and severe pallor were some of the identified risk factors. Conclusion: Communicable diseases remain the major cause of mortality in our emergency units. Strengthening and restructuring of the emergency units in terms of manpower and services will help in lowering the mortality rates.

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