Introduction: sensorineural emergencies (SNE) are rare clinical situations. Few patients consult early explaining subsequent difficulty in having accurate data and management. Three clinical conditions are considered SNE in otolaryngology; they include sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), Bell's palsy and acute vertigo. There is very little data available on sensorineural emergencies in our setting. The aim of this study was to provide preliminary data on the management of Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) sensorineural emergency cases in Yaoundé Reference Hospital. Methods: a descriptive retrospective study was carried out based on data collected over a period of 5 years, January 2010 to July 2014 at the Yaoundé Reference Hospital. Information was obtained from patients' files collected from the archives of the institution. Patients presenting with SSHL, Bell's palsy, acute vertigo who consulted during the study period were included in the study. Results: a total of 22 patients were included in the study out of 6406 patients who consulted at the ENT Unit. The prevalence of SNE in ENT consultations was 0.003, distributed as follows; 13 patients (59.1%) of SNE had Bell's palsy, seven (31.8%) had vestibular neuritis and two (9.1%) had SSHL. Conclusion: the prevalence of SNE was low with idiopathic Bell's palsy being the most frequent. There was a general delay in arrival of patients hence delay in diagnosis. This delay could equally be a factor for treatment failure and poor prognosis. More effort should be made in terms of population sensitization about the necessity of getting early medical attention.
The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24