Orient Journal of Medicine

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Corrosive Oesophageal Stricture: A Preventable Scourge

JC Eze


Aim: This study aims to determine the nature and circumstances surrounding the ingestion of corrosive substances that resulted in oesophageal strictures among patients attending the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. This is with a view to highlighting that corrosive oesophageal stricture is preventable.

Methodology: A retrospective study of U.N.T.H. patients managed for corrosive oesophageal stricture between 1991 and 2001 was done using information extracted from their case records.

Result: Sixty-nine eligible cases were seen out of which 33 records were retrieved. All ages and sexes were involved with youths and children topping the list. Caustic soda was involved in 12 patients, 7 patients drank acid and 14 were involved with other chemicals including drugs from “chemist” shop, native medicine etc. Twenty-six (26) were accidental, 4 were suicidal attempt and 3 attributed their problem to ingestion of medication. Thirty-two (32) had gastrostomy and subsequent colon transplant to replace the oesophagus. Duration of treatment and hospital admission was 4 months on the average.

Conclusion: Since most cases of oesophageal stricture due to ingestion of corrosives occurred as a result of accidental ingestion, this problem and its costly consequences are preventable.

Key Words: Corrosive Ingestion, Oesophagus, Scourge Complex, Preventable

Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.15(3&4) 2003: 8-11

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