Discharge from hospital against medical advice among paediatric patients in Azare.
Background: The reasons underlying discharge against medical advice by Paediatric patients varies from place to place. Discharge against medical advice is frustrating to the medical personnel and deprives the patient of adequate medical care. This study aims to determine the prevalence and factors associated with discharge against medical advice. Methods: We retrieved and analysed all folders of patients who were discharged against medical advice at the Paediatric ward of Federal Medical Centre Azare, over 18 months period (January 2004 to June 2005). Information obtained included, age, sex, reasons for discharge against medical advice, socio-economic class of parents and duration of hospital stay. Results: The prevalence of discharge against medical advice was 4.3%. Male: Female ratio was 1.5: 1 and the age ranged between 4 hours and 12 years. The commonest reasons for discharge against medical advice were poor financial support and unpreparedness for hospital admissions. Twenty eight (87.5%) of the 32 children whose social class were available came from low social class. Conclusions: Discharge against medical advice is not infrequent in the study population. We recommend health education and free medical care for under-five children and comprehensive implementation of National Health Insurance Scheme as means of reducing the prevalence of discharge against medical advice.
Keywords: Discharge from hospital against medical advice, children.