Emergency medicine matters: epidemiology of medical pathology and changes in patient outcomes after implementation of a post-graduate training program at a Tertiary Teaching Hospital in Kigali, Rwanda

Katelyn Moretti, Doris Lorette Uwamahoro, Sonya Naganathan, Chantal Uwamahoro, Naz Karim, Menales Nkeshimana, Adam R. Aluisio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Emergency care is a new but growing specialty across Africa where medical conditions have been estimated to account for 92% of all disability-adjusted life years. This study describes the epidemiology of medical emergencies and the impact of formalized emergency care training on patient outcomes for medical conditions in Rwanda. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed using a database of randomly sampled patients presenting to the emergency center (EC) at the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali. All patients, > 15 years of age treated for medical emergencies pre- and post-implementation of an Emergency Medicine (EM) residency training program were eligible for inclusion. Patient characteristics and final diagnosis were described by time period (January 2013–September 2013 versus September 2015–June 2016). Univariate chi-squared analysis was performed for diagnoses, EC interventions, and all cause EC and inpatient mortality stratified by time period. Results: A random sample of 1704 met inclusion with 929 patients in the pre-residency time period and 775 patients in the post-implementation period. Demographics, triage vital signs, and shock index were not different between time periods. Most frequent diagnoses included gastrointestinal, infectious disease, and neurologic pathology. Differences by time period in EC management included antibiotic use (37.2% vs. 42.2%, p = 0.04), vasopressor use (1.9% vs. 0.5%, p = 0.01), IV crystalloid fluid (IVF) use (55.5% vs. 47.6%, p = 0.001) and mean IVF administration (2057 ml vs. 2526 ml, p < 0.001). EC specific mortality fell from 10.0 to 1.4% (p < 0.0001) across time periods. Conclusions: Mortality rates fell across top medical diagnoses after implementation of an EM residency program. Changes in resuscitation care may explain, in part, this mortality decrease. This study demonstrates that committing to emergency care can potentially have large effects on reducing mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Emergency medicine training
  • Low-middle income countries
  • Medical pathology
  • Residency
  • Rwanda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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