Common geriatric emergencies in a rural hospital in South‑Eastern Nigeria
AbstractBackground: Geriatric population in rural Nigeria is often challenged by emergency health conditions that predispose them to higher risk of disability and mortality.
Objective: This study was aimed at describing the common geriatric emergencies in a rural hospital in South‑Eastern Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive hospital‑based study of 216 geriatric patients who presented between June 2008 and June 2011 with emergency health conditions at St Vincent De Paul hospital, Amurie–Omanze, a rural Mission General Hospital in Imo state, South‑Eastern Nigeria. The geriatric patients seen within the study period who met the selection criteria were studied. Data extracted for analysis included biodata and diagnosis made.
Results: A total of 216 geriatric emergencies were seen during the study period. The ages of the patients ranged from 65 years to 98 years with mean age of 72 ± 1.14 years. There were 94 males and 122 females with a male to female ratio of 1: 1.3. The three most common causes of geriatric emergencies were acute malaria (33.8%), hypertensive crises syndrome (19.0%), and acute hypertensive heart failure (18.1%).
Conclusion: This study has shown that the three most common geriatric emergencies were medical emergencies (acute malaria, hypertensive crises syndrome, and acute hypertensive heart failure). Improving the quality of geriatric medical care will help in reduction of these emergency medical conditions. Similarly, health education of the geriatric population to embrace early health‑seeking behavior, health maintenance, and promotional practices that are needed to promote longevity is invariably advocated.