East and Central African Journal of Surgery

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Pattern of surgical admissions to Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A five-year retrospective study

Sahlu Wondimu, Solomon Bekele, Dawit G. Giorgis, Feron Getachew, Nebyou Seyoum


Background: Tikur Anbessa specialized hospital (TASH) is Ethiopia’s largest tertiary teaching and referral hospital admitting and treating surgical patients under various specialties. This study aims to analyze the magnitude and pattern of surgical admissions to this facility. 

Methods: A five-year Cross sectional retrospective analysis was done on all adult surgical admissions to TASH from Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2015. 

Results: There were a total of 8,698 surgical admissions of which, 4471 (51.4%) were male and 4227 (48.5%) were female with male to female ratio of 1.06:1. Their age ranged from 13 to 95, with mean age being 38.8 ± 16.2 years. Three thousand two hundred twenty two (46.5%) patients were from Addis Ababa. Of all admissions, 4706 (54.1%) were elective ones of which obstructive uropathy, 997(21.1%), esophageal diseases, 716(15.2%) and Urolithiasis, 573(12.2%) respectively are the top three. The rest, 3992 (44.9%), were emergency admissions, the top three ones being trauma, 1435(35.9%), appendicitis 281(7%) and Intestinal obstruction, 190(4.7%) respectively. General surgical (gastrointestinal, endocrine and vascular) cases account for 3414 (39.25%) of all admissions followed by urosurgical cases, 2114 (25.31%), cardiothoracic surgical cases, 1942 (22.33%), and neurosurgical cases, 1139 (13.1%). There were a total of 280 deaths with an overall mortality rate of 4% of which, 3.2% were from elective admissions and 5.2% from emergency ones. Mortality rate was the highest among neurosurgical patients being 6.3% followed by 4.3%, 3.8% and 3.5% in cardiothoracic, general surgical and urosurgical cases respectively. 

Conclusions: The admission pattern indicates quite a big number and diversity of cases though the bed capacity is limited. There are significant number of cases that could be treated at other secondary level hospitals. Trauma is the leading cause of emergency admissions and significant cause of mortality. We recommend increasing the number of beds, organizing separate trauma center and admitting only cases requiring tertiary level care. 

Keywords: pattern of surgical diseases; surgical admissions; Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital 

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