Haemoglobin phenotypes of patients admitted to the children emergency room of the university of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin city, Edo state, Nigeria
AbstractSickle cell anaemia (SCA) is the most common inherited haemoglobinopathy in Blacks. In Nigeria with high burden of SCA, there are relatively few programmes for the disease management and there is no focus on comprehensive care of the diagnosed child. In an effort to detect early the disease condition so as to foster a decline in mortality and morbidity for this group, we screened all admitted cases into the Children Emergency Room (CHER) of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City for their haemoglobin phenotypes and computed the
contribution of SCA related morbidities to paediatric admissions. This descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted between April and September 2011. It involved 589 children aged six months to 17 years admitted during the study period. Haemoglobin SS (SCA) contributed 5.8% (34/589) of the admissions. Haemoglobin AA made up 73.7% (434/589). The others were haemoglobin AS(20.0%) and haemoglobin AC (0.5 %). The related morbidities in children with SCA were infections (44.1%), vaso-occlusive crisis (29.4%), severe anaemia (20.6%) and cerebrovascular accident [CVA](5.9%). Among those with HbSS, 17.6% were newly diagnosed while 82.4% were known HbSS patients. All the
newly diagnosed HbSS cases were less than 24 months of age and presented with acute problems. Furthermore, all children with CVA were newly diagnosed HbSS. It is concluded that sickle cell anaemia related morbidities contribute significantly to paediatric admissions. A strong case is made for the initiation of Sickle Cell Disease screening programmes in all health institutions in Nigeria.