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Paediatric Abdominal Surgical Emergencies in Enugu, South East Nigeria: Any Change in Pattern and Outcome

Background: Paediatric abdominal surgical emergencies (PASE) constitute a significant workload of the paediatric surgeon. The objective of this study was to characterize the pattern of PASE in a tertiary hospital in Enugu and determine any change in pattern and outcome. Methodology: This was a retrospective study of children aged 1 day to 16 years who presented with abdominal surgical emergencies to Enugu State University Teaching Hospital (ESUTH), Enugu. Result: There were 152 patients recruited for the study. There were 122 males and 30 females. The mean age at presentation was 6 years while the mean duration of symptoms before presentation to the hospital was 3.5 days. Thirty eight (25%) patients presented within 48 hours of the onset of their symptoms while 114 patients (75%) presented after 48 hours. The emergencies were intussusception 56 (36.8%), typhoid intestinal perforation 30 (19.7%), obstructed hernia 20 (13.2%), appendicitis 17 (11.2%), abdominal trauma 10 (6.6%), neonatal intestinal obstruction 6 (4%), ruptured appendix 6 (3.9%), Hirschsprung’s disease 4 (2.6%), adhesive bowel obstruction 2 (1.3%), and Gastroschisis 1 (0.7%). The mean hospital stay was 6.7 days. Thirty four patients (22.4%) who had surgery developed post-operative complication. The most common complication was surgical site infection and this occurred most in patients who had typhoid intestinal perforation (P = 0.017). There were 12 (7.9%) deaths. Conclusion: In this series, intussusception was the most common paediatric abdominal surgical emergency seen in Enugu unlike in the past when it used to be typhoid intestinal perforation. Mortality was less in the current study. This illustrates a change in pattern and outcome.

Paediatric, Emergencies, Outcome, Pattern, Abdominal, Change

Chukwubuike Kevin Emeka, Nduagubam Obinna Chukwuebuka, Ndu Ikenna Kingsley, Odetunde Oluwatoyin Arinola, Ekenze Sebastin Okwuchukwu, et al. (2019). Paediatric Abdominal Surgical Emergencies in Enugu, South East Nigeria: Any Change in Pattern and Outcome. European Journal of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, 5(2), 39-42.

Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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