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Pediatr Surg Int. 2007 Jan;23(1):33-9. Epub 2006 Nov 4.

Typhoid intestinal perforation in children: a continuing scourge in a developing country.

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Paediatric Surgery Unit, Surgery Department, University of Jos/Jos University Teaching Hospital, Murtala Mohammed Way, Jos, Plateau,930001, Nigeria.


Typhoid intestinal perforation is a principal cause of morbidity and mortality affecting both adults and children. This study aims to evaluate the pattern of typhoid intestinal perforation and outcome of its management in Nigerian children. The records of consecutive children managed for typhoid intestinal perforation at Juth, between 1996 and 2005 have been reviewed. There were 184 children (M:F = 1.04:1), with a mean of 5.8 years (range 4 to 15 years). More than a half (62.5%) of the patients were in the 5-6 year age group. The incidence peaked in April-May, and November-December. Increased incidence of typhoid perforation was observed between 2002 and 2005. All patients presented with the classic features of typhoid enteric perforation. Hypokalaemia and anaemia were common at presentation. Only 75 (40.6%) patients had operation within 24 h of perforation. The types of surgery included simple excision of the edges of the peroration and closure (74.5%), wedge resection and closure in (14.5%), segmental resection with primary end-to-end anastomosis (3.6%) and right hemi-colectomy with ileo-colic or ileo-transverse anastomosis. Wound infection and dehiscence, anastomotic breakdown with faecal fistula, intra peritoneal abscesses and chest infections were the main post operative complications. The overall mortality rate was 22.8 (42). Excision and simple closure was associated with the least incidence of anastomotic breakdown and operation time. The incidence of typhoid intestinal perforation is on the increase at our institution. Early limited surgery provides optimal results.

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