Profile of pediatric abdominal surgical emergencies in a developing country

Int Surg. 2010 Oct-Dec;95(4):319-24.

Abstract

We aim to determine the profile and determinants of outcome of pediatric abdominal surgical emergencies in southeastern Nigeria. We prospectively analyzed 115 children with abdominal surgical emergencies managed at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria, from January 2008 to June 2009. The emergencies were typhoid intestinal perforation (TIP) 22 (19.1%), intussusception 20 (17.4%), obstructed hernia 17 (14.8%), neonatal intestinal obstruction 11 (9.6%), appendicitis 11 (9.6%), trauma 8 (6.9%), ruptured omphalocele/gastroschisis 8 (6.9%), Hirschsprung's disease 7 (6.1%), adhesive bowel obstruction 7 (6.1%), and malrotation 4 (3.5%). The mean time to diagnosis was 3.5 days (range, 4 hours to 12 days). Ninety-three cases had an emergency operation, while 22 were managed nonoperatively. After a mean hospital stay of 10.8 days (range, 2-38 days), 35 (37.6%) of the operated patients had one or more postoperative complications. There were 10 (8.7%) deaths. Overall, TIP had a higher postoperative complication rate (P < 0.001), while neonates had a higher mortality (P < 0.001). Delayed presentation and lack of neonatal and pediatric intensive care facilities were daunting challenges. A pediatric abdominal surgical emergency in our setting has high morbidity and mortality. Efforts geared towards improvement in time to diagnosis and perioperative care may result in better outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developing Countries
  • Emergencies*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / surgery*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies