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The Mode of Presentation and Treatment of Acute Osteomyelitis in Children in a New Nigerian Teaching Hospital



Objective:  Complications seen in the out-patient clinic like chronic osteomyelitis, pathological fractures and limb length discrepancies especially in a 5year old girl with 5cm shorten right lower limb as a complication of untreated acute osteomyelitis stimulated this study. Objective is to find mode of presentation and treatment, reasons why a treatable and probably curable disease could lead devastating outcome and to make suggestions for prevention of such occurrence.

Methods:  A five and half year retrospective study at a Nigerian teaching hospital. Medical records of paediatric aged group below 16 who were treated for acute osteomyelitis were retrieved. Extracted were: biodata, presenting complaints, interval between onset of symptoms and presentation, duration of parenteral antibiotic and oral antibiotic, results of blood and aspirate culture. The data were entered into a Microsoft Excel worksheet, exported and analyzed with SPSS.

Results: There were forty-eight documented cases of paediatric acute osteomyelitis during the study period but only 29 medical records were retrievable, 14 males and 15 females. Of the 22 patients in which interval between onset and presentation was documented, only 1 (4.5%) presented within 48 hours while 13(59.2%) presented after 7 days. Duration of intravenous antibiotics was documented in 19 patients out of which 10 (52.6%) had intravenous antibiotic between 2-4 days. Only 4 (13.8 %) of the 29 patients reported for follow-up.

Conclusion: The study revealed these following modes of presentations and treatment:  late presentations of most of the patients, inadequate duration of intravenous and oral antibiotic and there was inadequate follow-up.

11 Jan, 2017
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e-Published: 02 Feb, 2017


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