Surgical Abdomen in School Age Children: A Prospective Review From Two Centers In South- Western Nigeria

  • A. C. Etonyeaku
  • A. O. Alabi
  • A. A. Akinkuolie
  • O. Olasehinde
  • C. A. Omotola
  • A. O. Mosanya
  • E. A. Agbakwuru
Keywords: surgical, abdomen, children, emergency


Background: Surgical abdomen traverses all age groups. We sought to define the aetiology, patients’ characteristics, and outcome of management amongst children

Methods: Two years prospective review of patients aged 5-15 years managed for surgical abdomen at the Wesley Guilds Hospital Ilesa and Mishmael Medical Centre Akure

Results: Fifty two patients were treated. The male: female ratio was 1:1. The age range was 5years to 15years (mean=11.25 ±2.24years). Mean duration of illness was 29.5hours (range 2-72hours). Gut perforation was the most common aetiology (n=39; 75%); with perforations due to infections most prevalent (n= 34; 87.2%). Ten cases (19.2%) were trauma related and showed male predominance. Obstructed gut accounted for 15.4% (n=8) of cases; and showed female predominance. Five out of the eight small bowel obstructions (62.5%) were due to post operation adhesions. Pre-operative and post-operative diagnoses were congruent in 90.4% (n=47) of cases. Major post-operative complications were surgical site infection (20; 38.5%), and pneumonia (5; 9.6%). The average hospital stay was 9days (range 4-21days). Mortality rate was 1.9% (n=1).

Conclusion: Acute abdomen requiring surgical intervention is mainly infective origin. The male child is more at risk of abdominal trauma while gut obstruction was more common in females.


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