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Background: There is a projected increase in lower urinary tract obstruction by 2018, especially in the developing economies of Asia and Africa. However in many of these countries, the problems encountered both by the patients and the clinicians are not well documented. Our aims are, to prospectively analyse the management of urinary retention, the associated difficulties, and complications in our setting, where access to investigative modalities such as Computerize Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging are not available.
Patients and Methods: The study was approved by the University Of Calabar Teaching Hospital ethical committee. A validated Proforma was used to collect data from all patients who were clinically diagnosed with urinary retention based on history, and physical examination, from July 2009 to June 2010. Data collected from the 1st of July 2009 to the 30th of June 2010, include demographics, findings on physical examination, previous medical history and co-morbid conditions. The results of investigations done such as: urinalysis, full blood count, electrolytes, urea and creatinine, intravenous urography, trans- abdominal ultrasonography, chest X-ray and histology of trans-rectal biopsies of the prostate . The total number of new patients seen, including those with urinary retention during the study was documented. The retentions were also classified into acute and chronic. All the patients were followed up throughout the study. The data was analysed using Epi-Info statistical program version 3.4 of 2007 to analyse the data, estimating averages, mean, median and percentages. Results: The total number of new patients seen, including those with urinary retention was Seventy thousand, one hundred and thirty nine (70,139).Of this number, hundred and fifty nine (0.23%), presented with urinary retention; 145 (91.2%) were acute, and14 (8.8%) were chronic. The male: female ratio was 39:1.The patients ages ranged from 4 to 94 years, with a mean of 53.7±11.2. Seventy seven [48.4%] of them were in the 6th and 7th decades of life. The common causes were; prostatic diseases [BPH and cancer of the prostate] 77.0%, infections 75.8%, trauma 12.1%, and congenital 12.1%. Urinary retention was relieved by: indwelling urethral catheterization [IUC] 120 patients (75.5%), supra- pubic cystostomy [SC] 34 (21.4%) and intermittent urethral catheterization [IC] 5 (3.1%). The most frequently encountered complications include pyuria (18.2%), pericatheter sepsis 17.5%, and haemorrhage during change of catheter 16.8% [figure 2].
Conclusion: Lower urinary retention is common in our environment. The management is appropriate and standard. The man power and facilities are inadequate, and requires urgent improvement.
Keywords: Urinary retention; management; limited resources