Digestive surgical emergencies in Sub-Saharan Africa: a prospective study of a series of 622 patients at the National Hospital of Zinder, Niger


I.A. Magagi, H. Adamou, O. Habou, A. Magagi, M. Halidou, & K. Ganiou


The purpose of this study was to describe the epidemiologic, therapeutic, and prognostic aspects of surgical acute abdomen at the National Hospital of Zinder (HNZ). This was a prospective study of patients undergoing digestive surgical emergencies in HNZ over 24 months (January 2013–December 2014). During the study period, 622 digestive surgical emergencies were operated. The mean age was 22.91 ± 18.14 years old, with a sex-ratio of 3:1. The average admission time was 64.31 ± 57.90 h. Abdominal pain was the main reason for admission in 61.90% (N = 385) of the cases, with or without fever throughout the course in 26.05% (N = 162) of the cases. The average time before surgery was 9.13 ± 5.97 h. Acute peritonitis accounted for 51.61% (N = 321) of cases, led by ileal perforation maybe from typhoid (N = 175). The acute intestinal obstruction and acute appendicitis accounted for 27.49% (N = 171) and 9.65% (N = 60) of the cases, respectively. Abdominal trauma had affected 53 patients (8.52%). The average length of hospital stay was 8.71 ± 5.29 days. Postoperative morbidity was 38.10% (N = 237). Septic complications (N = 187) were predominant. Overall lethality of 13.67% (N = 85), was associated with the delay of diagnosis and treatment (P < 0.001). The incidence and the high morbidity and lethality of digestive surgical emergencies in the Sub-Saharan context, could be avoided through prevention, early consultation, and adequate intra-hospital management.

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