Overcrowding of accident & emergency units: is it a growing concern in Nigeria?
Background: The inability of the Nigeria’s Accident and Emergency Departments (AED) to meet current demands is growing among the public and health care professionals. The data supporting perceptions of insufficient capacity are limited. Therefore, this study was intended to determine the prevalence, causes, and effects of overcrowding AEDs in Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross sectional, descriptive study carried out among AED staff of 3 referral teaching hospitals in Nigeria, using a pre-tested and validated structured questionnaire.
Results: The analysis of the 267 AED staff revealed 20-56years (36.40+5.1 mean) age range. One hundred and twenty eight (47.9%) were males, 139 (52.1%) females. Two hundred and fifty nine (97%) agreed that an AED should have a bed capacity of 21-30. Agreement to AED overcrowding in Nigeria was quite considerable. The frequency of AED overcrowding per week was 4-7 times. The average bed occupancy level was 3.25. Agreed common causes of prolonged AED admissions were to be a high volume of critically ill patients, Delayed transfer of patients to the wards, delay in theatre operation, delay in radiological investigations and exceptionally high proportion of patients requiring admission in AED. Also, long pre-review waiting time and haematological delays were more causes. The average waiting time for victims to be seen was 29.7minutes.
Conclusion: There are many causes of AED overcrowding in this environment. However, improving AED bed management, better organized and diligent discharge planning, and reducing access block should be a priority to reduce AED overcrowding
Keywords: Overcrowding, accident, emergency surgery, Nigeria
While African Health Sciences has been freely accessible online there have been questions on whether it is Open Access or not. We wish to clearly state that indeed African Health Sciences is Open Access. There are key issues regarding Open Access needing clarification for avoidance of doubt:
- 1. Henceforth, papers in African Health Sciences will be published under the CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution License) 4.0 International. See details on https://creativecomons.org/)
- 2. The copyright owners or the authors grant the 3rd party (perpetually and in advance) the right to disseminate, reproduce, or use the research papers in part or in full, format/medium as long as:
- No substantive errors are introduced in the process
- Attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given
- The referencing details are not changed.
Should the papers be reproduced in part, this must be clearly stated.
- 3. The papers will be freely and universally accessible online in an easily readable format such as XML in at least one widely recognized open access repository such as PUBMED CENTRAL.
B. ABRIDGED LICENCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN AUTHORS AND African Health Sciences
I submitted my manuscript to African Health Sciences and would like to affirm that:
1.0 I am authorized by my co-authors to enter into these arrangements.
2.0 I guarantee, on behalf of self and co-authors:
- That the paper is original, and has not been published in any other peer-reviewed journal; nor is it under consideration by other journal (s). It does not infringe existing copyright or any other person’s rights
- That we are/I am the sole author(s) of the paper and with authority to enter into this agreement. My granting rights to African Health Sciences is not in breach of any other obligation
- That the paper contains nothing unlawful, or libelous. Nor anything that would constitute a breach of contract, confidence or commitment given to secrecy, if published
- That I/we have taken care to ensure the integrity of the article.