An Audit on pediatric surgery services at Sinnar Teaching Hospital: outcome and challenges

Awad R. Abdalla, Eltaib A. Saad


a valuable data for health authorities. The aim of this study was to reflect the burden and outcome
of one pediatric surgery unit at Sinnar Teaching Hospital (STH). It also throws some light into
challenges and obstacles that face running of pediatric surgery services outside of the capital.
Methods: This was a retrospective, descriptive review. It included all the patients who presented
to the Pediatric Surgery Unit at Sinnar Teaching Hospital (STH) and underwent emergency or
elective operations during the period from January 2009 to December 2012.
Results: A total number of 2400 patients were seen at the unit over four years. About half of them
(1210) (50.4%) underwent emergency or elective operations. Inguinoscrotal conditions were the
most frequently performed elective operations 450 (37%). Appendectomy was the commonest emergency operation: 169 (14%). Forty four (2%) were referred to Al-Jazeera or Khartoum
States for further work-up or advanced care. The majority of the referred cases were those who
required more specialized oncological or neurosurgical services, in addition to some patients who
needed non-invasive interventions (like ESWL for instance) or multidisciplinary management (
bladder exostrophy and proximal hypospadias). The overall mortality rate was 2.4% (n=52) with
higher mortality rate noticed among neonatal conditions: 20% of it (n=10) due to lack of trained
anesthetists, pediatric intensive care unit facilities, and delayed presentation.
Conclusion: Conduction of a pediatric surgery service outside of the capital is challenging and
faces various obstacles, but it is possible with a reasonable outcome. A wide variety of emergency
and elective pediatric surgical conditions are seen and the majority of them could be managed
properly at a state hospital level. Availability of well-established anesthetic and pediatric intensive
care facilities, with trained nursing staff is the cornerstone for better quality services with minimum
morbidity and mortality rates. Establishment of pediatric surgery services in the states would
invariably decrease the central congestion and referral to capital hospitals. It can also minimize
the unnecessary, and indeed, costly expenditure on referral,especially for low-and middle- income

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ISSN: 1858-5345