Objective: St Lucia is a developing country with evolving healthcare needs. A single otolaryngologist has provided the island’s ENT services for the last 23 years. The primary aim of this study is to establish the surgical caseload for the ENT surgeon in Saint Lucia. The secondary aim is to establish trends in the operation type over the last decade.
Methods: The electronic operative records were retrospectively obtained from Saint Lucia’s largest hospital (Victoria Hospital) for all ENT operations performed between January 2005 and December 2014. These were classified by ENT-subspecialty. The Pearson Product Moment Correlation Co-efficients (r) was calculated to establish trends.
Results: A total of 1558 operations were performed over the decade at Victoria Hospital. The most commonly performed operation was adenotonsillectomy (9% of cases), followed by tonsillectomy (9%). We found that 32% of total cases were Head and Neck; 7% Otology, 11% Rhinology and a further 41% were Paediatric cases. Over the ten-year period there was a shift towards increase in number of Head and Neck cases (r=0.66) but downward trend in the number of Otology (r=-0.59) and Paediatric (r=-0.22) cases. There was an upward trend in the number of elective ENT operations (r=0.32) and respective downward trend in emergency cases (r=0.22).
Conclusion: Through defining the ENT operative caseload, it is possible to inform future training of West Indian otolaryngologists. With increased number ENT surgeons, Saint Lucia will be able to incorporate sub-specialisation of ENT services in accordance with their needs.
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