International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Intensive Care Management of Poisoning in a Resource-Limited Health Care Setting in Western Kenya
Macharia S. Kamau, Chebor A. Kipbichii, Mwangi H. Ruiru

Poisoning due to pesticides is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. About threemillion cases of poisoning occur worldwide annually, mostly in developing countries withOrganophosphates poisoning (OPP) being seen more commonly compared to others. With more than200,000 deaths each year in developing countries. The study setting was Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ofMoi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), a public referral hospital serving North Rift and WesternKenya. Sampled were patients admitted to ICU due to poisoning, between 2006 and 2010, both yearsincluded. Objectives were to determine the number of poisoning cases in the critical care setting, clinicalinterventions given and establish the patients’ management outcomes among these patients at MTRH.The study adopted a retrospective records and charts review, where by poisoning cases possibly due to carbamates, amitraz and organophosphate were reviewed. Cases were identified through the use ofIntensive Care Unit admission register and forwarded to the department of health records for retrieval ofthe case files. Data was collected by the researchers themselves by use of a predesigned patient recordsreview check list and charts review. Results showed that the ages ranged from 1 year to 63 years oldpatients with a mean of 25 +14.8years. The male to female ratio was 1.5:1. During the study period therewere total of 1063 ICU admissions of whom 85 were poisoning cases. Categorizations of poisoning forpurposes of diagnosis or management as organophosphate, amitraz or any other was rarely done henceall were usually treated as ‘organophosphate poisoning (OPP)’.Atropine injection and mechanicalventilation remained the mainstay treatment of these poisoning cases. The mortality rate due topoisoning in ICU was 10.4% and none died in the wards after being discharged from the ICU. Whetheror not PAM was used did not seem to make significant difference. Though management of these caseswas found to be inadequate due to lack of protocols, clinical judgment, some essential drugs andequipment it still yielded some positive outcomes.

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