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Audit of in-hospital mortality by age and time-of-day among patients presenting to a low-resource Ugandan hospital

Brian ikomeko
George Mutiibwa
Pauline Nabatanzi
Alfred Lumala
John Kellett


Introduction: Admission to hospital outside of normal working hours is consistently associated with poorer patient outcomes. Our aim was to determine the association of patients’ age and time of presentation to a low-resource Ugandan hospital with admission rate and in-hospital mortality.
Method: Prospective observational non-interventional audit in the emergency and outpatient departments of Kitovu Hospital in Uganda, a low-resource sub-Saharan hospital. Data on age, sex, time of admission was collected from all non-pregnant patients during 2020 and 2021, and outcomes analysed.
Results: Out of 17,133 patients who presented to the hospital 189 died in hospital (1.1% of all presentations and 7.9% of all admissions); 46 (24.3%) patients died within 24 hours of arrival (0.3% of all presentations and 1.9% of all admissions). Deaths within 24 hours of arrival in hospital were more likely in the very young and the old, and in those who presented at night and on the weekend.
Conclusion: As many in-hospital deaths occur shortly after arrival, resuscitation skills are needed even in low-resource settings for as much of the 24-hour day as possible.