Pattern and outcome of admissions as seen in the paediatric emergency ward of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Objective: To describe the pattern and outcome of childhood illnesses seen in a paediatric emergency ward of a tertiary centre in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Methods: Admission records of all children seen in the Children’s Emergency Ward (CHEW) between the 1st of January 2008 and 31st of
December 2011 were retrospectively reviewed and analysed.
Results: A total of 1756 children were admitted into the emergency ward over a four year period (1st January 2008 to 31st December 2011). The age range was one month to 18 years with a mean of 36.6 months. There was a male preponderance with a male to female ratio of 1.4:1. Majority, 1386 (78.9%) of the patients were below the age of five years. The mean
duration of stay was 2.2 days. The major causes of admission were malaria, 562 (32.0%), diarrhoeal disease 389 (22.2%), respiratory tract infections 162 (9.2%) and anaemic heart failure 112(6.4%). Peak admissions period and mortality were in the months of January, May and December. There were 799 transfers, 710 discharges, 94 discharges against medical advice and 20 referrals. Over the period, 133 children died
giving a mortality rate of 7.6%. Major causes of mortality were
anaemic heart failure 32(24.1%), malaria 26 (19.6%), septicaemia 17
(12.8%) and diarrhoeal disease 15 (11.3%).
Conclusions: Infections are the major cause of morbidity and mortality
in the study environment with the under-fives being the most vulnerable.
Key words: children, under-fives, emergency room, admissions, morbidity, mortality