Medical Mortality in the Accident and Emergency Unit of the University Of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital
Background: The quality of care in the emergency room is an indirect indicator of the standard of healthcare delivery in a given health institution. Mortality in the emergency room may result from various factors including incompetence of the attending junior physicians, delays in presentation and inadequate facilities. The aim of the study is to highlight the causes of mortality, age and sex distribution of the deaths and the duration of admission before death among medical cases in the accident and emergency unit of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Methods: A one year (January to December, 2005) clinical audit of all adult medical admissions in the accident and emergency department of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). Results: Of the 5304 admitted over the study period, 349 (6.8%) patients died. Two hundred and thirty three (66.8%) of these deaths were due to medical cases only. These medical deaths were made up of 126 males and 107 females giving a male to female ratio of 1.2:1. The presumed causes of deaths were stroke in 56(24.5%), HIV/AIDS in 53 (22.7%), sepsis in 20 (8.6%), while 14 (6.0%) died from meningitis. Ten patients (4.3%) died from diabetic ketoacidosis, and hepatic encephalopathy and tetanus were responsible for 10(4.3%) and 7 (3.0%) deaths respectively. Conclusion: In the period studied, medical mortality was high in the accident and emergency room of UPTH. The major causes of deaths were cerebrovascular accidents and HIV/AIDS.
Keywords: accident and emergency, autopsy, death certification, medical mortality
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (2) 2008: pp. 184-187