Typhoid perforation: Post-operative Intensive Care Unit care and outcome


Akinwale MO, Sanusi AA, Adebayo OK



Typhoid perforation ileitis is a serious complication of typhoid fever, a common and unfortunate health problem in a resource-poor country like Nigeria. Following bowel perforation, treatment is usually by simple closure or bowel resection and anastomosis after adequate aggressive fluid resuscitation and electrolyte correction. Postoperatively, some of these patients do require management in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on account of sepsis or septic shock and to improve survival.


This is a prospective observational study in which 67 consecutive patients who had exploratory laparotomy for typhoid perforation between August 2009 and October 2012 in the main operating theatre of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, were studied. The attending anaesthetists had the freedom of choosing the appropriate anaesthetic drugs depending on the patients’ clinical condition. The reason for admission into the ICU, the types of organ support required and outcomes were recorded.


Twenty-five patients (37.3%) out of 67 required critical care. Reasons for admission among others included poor respiratory effort, hypotension, septic shock and delayed recovery from anaesthesia. Twenty-one patients (84%) required mechanical ventilation with a mean duration of 2.14 days (range 1-5 days). Fourteen patients required ionotropic support and the length of ICU stay ranged from 1 to 15 days (mean 4.32 days). Nineteen patients (76%) were successfully managed and discharged to the ward while 24% (6 patients) mortality rate was recorded.


This study showed high rate of post-operative ICU admission in patients with typhoid perforation with a high demand for critical care involving mechanical ventilation and ionotropic support. In centres that manage patients presenting with typhoid ileitis and perforation, post-operative critical care should be available.

Click here to view the article, published in African Journal of Paediatric Surgery