Malawi Medical Journal

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Patient outcome in adults with pneumococcal meningitis or bacteraemia admitted to QECH

SB Gordon


Pneumococcal infections are common in Malawian adults. We set out to determine which factors influence in-hospital mortality and long-term survival among these patients. Features of history and examination, inpatient mortality and long-term survival were described among consecutively admitted QECH patients with S. pneumoniae in blood or CSF. 217 patients with pneumococcal disease were studied over an 18-month period. Among these, 158 of 167 consenting to testing (95%) were HIV positive. Inpatient mortality was 65% for pneumococcal meningitis (n=64), 20% for pneumococcaemic pneumonia (n=92) and 26% for patients with pneumococcaemia without localising signs (n=43). Lowered conscious level (OR 5.8, p<0.001), hypotension(OR 4.8, p=0.04) and age exceeding 55 years (OR 3.8, p=0.001) at presentation were associated with inpatient death but not long-term outcome in survivors. Outpatient death was associated with multilobar chest signs (HR 2.1, p=0.01), oral candidiasis (HR 1.8, p=0.03) and severe anaemia (HR 3.9, p=0.005) as an inpatient. In conclusion, most patients with pneumococcal disease in Malawi have severe disease, HIV co-infection and a poor prognosis. At discharge patients with multilobar chest signs or anaemia are at particular risk.

[Malawi Med J, Vol.15(2) 2003: 38-42]
AJOL African Journals Online