The impact of psychological illness on outcome of corrosive esophageal injury
Purpose of Study: Esophageal stricture is a debilitating condition with significant morbidity and mortality, occurring often as a complication of the ingestion of corrosives. In the adult, majority of cases are intentional whilst being accidental in the pediatric population. We therefore sought to describe the circumstances of intentional corrosive ingestion and determine the presence and impact of psychiatric illness on the outcome of management.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis of case folders of patients managed with this condition over a ten.year period (2000.2009) was done by comparing sociodemographics and outcome of management in patients with and without psychiatric disorders.
Results: Twenty seven cases were reviewed. Mean age was 30.7 (SD =16.01), with a M:F ratio of 1.25:1.86.2% had a diagnosable psychiatric condition, the most common being depression in 55.6% of the patients. Caustic soda (55.6%) was the most common corrosive ingested. There was a significant difference in mean duration before presentation in patients with (1.7 days) and without (6.6 days) previous psychiatric illness (P = 0.01). A significant positive association was also found between surgical outcome and previous history of psychiatric disorder (P = 0.02).
Conclusion: Early recognition of psychosocial distress is important to prevent deliberate self.harm. Counter.intuitively, a previous history of psychopathology limits esophageal injury by early presentation and therefore improve chances of a good surgical outcome.
Key words: Corrosive, deliberate self harm, outcome