The pattern of medical mortalities in a specialist hospital in north-central Nigeria.
Background: Review of causes of morbidity and mortality in health care facilities is an important exercise which gives a picture of the prevailing disease pattern in the particular community and at the same time looks out for any change in the disease pattern over time. This exercise is a necessary component for planning of the health care needs of the community. Objective: To determine the mortality pattern on the medical wards of the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, a tertiary center located in Lokoja, North-Central Nigeria. Methods: A retrospective review of medical records of all patients admitted to the medical wards of the hospital over a period of 18 months (December 2008 – May 2010) was carried out. The information recorded from these sources included the age and gender, diagnosis/cause of death and the duration of admission. Results: A total of six hundred and eighty-four patients were admitted during the period being studied with a predominance of female patients (Female: Male Ratio = 1.07). There were seventy-six deaths (11.1%) during the period in question with HIV and related >complications accounting for most recorded mortality (32.9%) closely followed by non-communicable cardiovascular conditions (hypertension, heart failure and CVD) – 28.9%. Conclusion: This study clearly shows that HIV infection and its complications remains the leading cause of death despite the advent of HAART. Clearly there is a need to revisit the strategies of HIV prevention and control. Also there is an urgent need to focus on the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
Keywords: Mortality pattern, causes, medical wards, Nigeria