Adult and paediatric mortality patterns in a referral hospital in Liberia 1 year after the end of the war
AffiliationMédecins Sans Frontières-France, Kenya Programme, Paris, France; Clinica de Medicina Forense, Segovia, Spain
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AbstractThe aim of this study was to describe and analyse hospital mortality patterns after the Liberian war. Data were collected retrospectively from January to July 2005 in a referral hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. The overall fatality rate was 17.2% (438/2543) of medical admissions. One-third of deaths occurred in the first 24h. The adult fatality rate was 23.3% (241/1034). Non-infectious diseases accounted for 56% of the adult deaths. The main causes of death were meningitis (16%), stroke (14%) and heart failure (10%). Associated fatality rates were 48%, 54% and 31% respectively. The paediatric fatality rate was 13.1% (197/1509). Infectious diseases caused 66% of paediatric deaths. In infants <1 month old, the fatality rate was 18% and main causes of death were neonatal sepsis (47%), respiratory distress (24%) and prematurity (18%). The main causes of death in infants > or =1 month old were respiratory infections (27%), malaria (23%) and severe malnutrition (16%). Associated fatality rates were 12%, 10% and 19%. Fatality rates were similar to those found in other sub-Saharan countries without a previous conflict. Early deaths could decrease through recognition and early referral of severe cases from health centres to the hospital and through assessment and priority treatment of these patients at arrival.