Sahel Medical Journal

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Pattern of medical emergency utilisation in a Nigeria Tertiary Health Institution: A preliminary report

MS Mijinyawa


Background: Medical emergency is a unit where patients with life threatening conditions receive urgent medical attention. This study determines the pattern and outcome of medical emergencies seen in a
tertiary hospital.
Methods: All patients seen in the Accident and Emergency Unit of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano in December 2008 were recruited. The demographic data of each patient, assessment of severity of illness on presentation and action taken as well as the outcome of the patients were recorded. All the data generated were analysed.
Results: Though there were more young people who attended the emergency unit, the elderly had a higher rate of attendance in relation to their absolute population in the general public. About a third of the
overall patients did not require medical emergency services. While malaria and acute gastroenteritis had higher overall frequency, stroke and heart failure were more frequent among the older population.
Conclusions: Malaria and acute gastroenteritis are the most frequent emergency conditions. In the elderly however, stroke, congestive cardiac failure and hypertension are more common. Overall, stroke
recorded the highest mortality rate, followed by chronic liver disease and diabetic complications.

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