Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-45

Day case surgery in Nigerian children: Influence of social circumstances of patients

1 Paediatric Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria
2 Paediatric Surgery Unit, Department of Surgery, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, (OAUTHC), Ile Ife, Nigeria

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U E Usang
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.55763

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Background : In order to achieve good results in day surgery and avoid pitfalls, selection of appropriate procedures and patients is required with attention given to the social circumstances among other considerations. The aim of this prospective study therefore was to evaluate the influence of the social circumstances of the patients on the performance of day surgery practice in our environment. Method : This was a prospective study carried out between April, 2004 and December, 2004, during which time 88 children aged 15 years and below with uncomplicated inguinal hernias were treated at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (OAUTHC). The parents of the patients were interviewed about their social circumstances to determine the possibility of compliance with postoperative instructions. The data generated were then analyzed. Results : More than half (54.6%) of the patients were from Ile-Ife. A few came from towns varying in distances from 65 to 80 km and spent an average time of 75 to 90 minutes to reach the hospital. Majority of the patients used public vehicles as a means of transport to and from the hospital in escort of their mothers. Despite the long distances and difficult traveling conditions, the parents still preferred day case surgery and were willing to obey postoperative instructions. Conclusion : From the findings in this study, day case surgery in children in our environment is feasible, despite the poor social circumstances of most of them. There is, however a compelling need to raise the standard of living of the people to enable them benefit maximally from day case surgery.

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