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Journal of Medicine in the Tropics

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An audit of the clinical profile of snake bites among female patients seen at comprehensive health centre, Zamko

N Lar-Ndam, SL Pitmang, JKA Madaki

Abstract


Background: A lot of work had been done on the clinical profiles of patients with snake bites but none on female patients alone. In this medical audit, we undertook to study the clinical profiles of snake bites among female patients seen over a two year period at a federal Government designated treatment centre, Zamko.
Methodology: This was a retrospective study in which case notes of  patients admitted into the centre between 1st September 2007 and 31st August 2009 with snake bites were retrieved from the record unit. These case notes were carefully studied and the biodata and clinical information obtained. The data was coded and analyzed using EPI Info version 3.5.1. The results were presented in tables, graphs, percentages, means and standard deviation.
Results : Snake bites accounted for 89.2% of all the hospital admissions during the period under review. We audited 4955 cases of snake bite and there were 1938 female patients. The age range was 1 to 80 years, with mean age of 24.7 years. Patients under the age of 40 years had the highest frequency of snake bites (88.2%) and the most frequent site of snake bite was the lower limb1783(91%). The mean duration of admission was 4 days. 1313(67.8%) were attributed to known poisonous snakes. Snake bites were more common among housewives 1097(56.6%), school children 425(21.8%), none school children 204(10.5%) and farmers 115(5.9%). 1313(67.7%) patients had systemic envenoming. Of the patients that had systemic envenoming, 1207(87.8%) were given monospecific snake antivenom (Echitab G) and 106(12.2%) had polyspecific snake antivenom (Echitab Plus). Of the 1313 cases with systemic envenoming, there were four deaths recorded and these deaths occurred only in adult females bitten by carpet vipers.
Conclusion: The findings of this study showed that a high proportion of bites in females were dry bites and that venomous bites in adult female carries high risk of death. It is very imperative that family physicians should be quite conversant with snake bite management.

Key Words: Snake bite, female clinical profile




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