Open abdomen management and outcomes: two case reports from western Kenya and a review of literature from Africa
The open abdomen (OA) is clinically indicated for attenuating the effects of select intra-abdominal insults that may lead to high intra-abdominal pressure with fascial closure. Despite the high incidence of conditions warranting OA in Africa, there are few reports on its use and outcomes. A retrospective chart review was performed for two patients managed with an OA at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. For comparison, a literature review on related studies from Africa was performed. One patient had an anastomotic leak, while the other had a perforated gastric ulcer. A Bogotá bag was used for temporary abdominal content containment. There was no mortality in our series and fascial closure was achieved in one patient. Upon review of studies from Africa, overall mortality stood at 44%, while 25% of surviving patients underwent fascial closure. The use of OA in Africa is associated with high mortality and low rates of fascial closure. Our limited experience shows this technique is a viable treatment option in an attempt to bridge a patient to abdominal closure during critical illness.