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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-46

Non-traumatic childhood coma in Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, South Eastern Nigeria

Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
R C Ibekwe
Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.79239

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Background: Coma is a medical emergency, and optimal management, especially in a resource-poor setting, would depend on the knowledge of its etiology and predictors of outcome. This communication reviews the etiology and outcome of non-traumatic childhood coma in Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH), Abakaliki. Objective: To determine the incidence, etiology and outcome of non-traumatic coma in children seen at the EBSUTH, Abakaliki. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of records of all children admitted to the children emergency ward of EBSUTH in coma of a non-traumatic origin between 1 st of January and 31 st of December, 2007. Results: Forty children presented with coma out of 673 children admitted during the study period, giving an incidence rate of 5.9%. The majority of the children (62.5%) were aged between 1 and 5 years of age, and 79.5% of them were deeply comatose on admission. Most of the cases (85%) of non-traumatic coma were due to infective causes, mainly cerebral malaria (47.5%), pyogenic meningitis (17.5%) and septicemia (10%). Twenty-four (60%) children recovered while 13 (32.5%) died. Conclusion : Infections were the predominant causes of non-traumatic coma in EBSUTH. In view of the high mortality among this group of patients, efforts at the control of malaria and other infections would significantly reduce the incidence of non-traumatic coma in this study site.

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