Epidemiological and clinical features of the emergency visits in a rural hospital in Cubal, Angola
Introduction: There is scarce information on the profiles of patients attended in the Emergency Departments (ED) in rural Angola. Methods: Retrospective descriptive study including all the patients treated in the ED in Hospital Nossa Senhora da Paz (Cubal) during 6 months (December 2014- May 2015). The epidemiological and clinical data collected were: age, sex, shift, service assignment, reason for consultation and outcome (discharge, admission, referral or death). Results: A total of 2384 patients (53.4% women) were attended. The median age was 10 years (range: 0 - 96 years); 57.9% and 40.2% of them were under 17 and 5 years, respectively. No differences were observed regarding the assistance per shift, weekdays, weekends, or mean age per shift. The reason for consultation was registered in 69.9% of the patients; the most common were respiratory tract infections (20.5%), fever (14%), digestive diseases (13.6%) and malaria (10.4%). Up to 47.2% of the patients required in-hospital treatment and 1.3% were transferred to other hospitals. The patients admitted were significantly younger than the patients discharged (median age of 4 vs.16 years, p < 0.01). The mortality rate within the ED was 0.5%. Conclusion: Young patients were those who mostly required assistance in the ED. Infectious diseases were the most frequent reason for consultation. Pulmonary tuberculosis was suspected in one third of respiratory infections. The admission rate was high, especially in children under 5 years and in cases of malaria and malnutrition. Low referral rate and low mortality within the ED were observed.