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J Crit Care. 2012 Feb;27(1):105.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2011.11.011.

Intensive care admissions and outcome at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.

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Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross-River State, Nigeria.


An intensive care unit (ICU) is for critically ill patients who are likely to benefit from the expertise care provided. The outcome is dependent on the available human and material resources. The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital is a 410-bed hospital. It has a 3-bed general ICU consisting of 2 adult and 1 pediatric beds. A retrospective analysis of all ICU admissions as well as the mortality rate during a 12-month period that spans April 2009 and March 2010 was done. The data were collected from the ICU admissions and nurses' report books. The data extracted were the patients ages, stratified to pediatric (0-18 years) and adult (>18 years); the source of admission, primary diagnosis, the duration of admission, and the patients who were ventilated were also noted. The outcome in terms of mortality was examined in relation to parameters stated above. Eighty-five patients were admitted during the 1-year period, with a bed occupancy rate of 23%. There were 11 (12.9%) pediatric patients and 74 (87.1%) adult patients. Sources of admissions were 64 (75.3%) patients from the operating room, 8 (9.4%) from the inpatient wards, and 13 (15.3%) from the accident and emergency department. Among the adult patients, there were 23 (31%) patients with trauma. There were 45 (61%) surgical patients and 6 (8%) medical patients. Sixteen (19%) patients were mechanically ventilated. The overall mortality was 28 (32.9%). Sixty-four percent of the mortality occurred during the first 24 hours of admission. A mortality rate of 83.3% was recorded among medical patients and 62.5% in those referred from the wards. In mechanically ventilated patients, the mortality rate was 62.5%. Ventilator malfunction, power failure, and oxygen exhaustion led to the unfavorable outcome in patients who were ventilated. In pediatric patients, the mortality rate was 45.5%. Early identification and referral of critically ill patients from the wards, availability of ventilator with battery backup, and maintenance of functioning equipment would reduce the high mortality rate recorded in the study.

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