Profile of paediatric neurologic emergencies at the children emergency ward in a tertiary hospital in Port Harcourt, Nigeria


  • Nneka Gabriel-Job Department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Kininyiruchi N. Wobo Department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria



Paediatric emergencies, Prevalence, Pattern, Outcome


Background: Neurologic emergencies are life-threatening in most cases with risks for acute or lifelong complications. Though a common presentation in the paediatric group, there is paucity of studies in our environment. The aim of this study is to describe the pattern, prevalence and outcome of paediatric neurologic emergencies in the university of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study conducted at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Data was obtained from the registers in the children emergency ward over a one-year period.

Results: A total of 1125 children were admitted into the CHEW in 2022, 67 (6.0%) of them had neurologic emergencies. Their ages ranged from 3 months to 16 years with a mean age was 7.6±5.2 years. Thirty-seven (55.2%) were males with a male to female ratio of 1.2:1. The most frequent diagnosis were meningitis and meningoencephalitis in 21 (31.3%), epilepsy among 9 (13.4%) while febrile convulsion and cerebral malaria accounted for 4 (6.0%) respectively. The main neurologic emergencies at presentations were raised intracranial pressure 34.3%, convulsions (31.3%), unconsciousness (16.4%) and paralysis (9.0%). Majority (70.2%) of them were discharged, 9 (13.4%) died, 8 (11.9%) DAMA while 3 (4.5%) were referred. More than half of those that died presented late to the hospital.

Conclusions: Neurologic emergencies are prevalent and are common causes of morbidity and mortality in children with meningitis being the commonest cause. There is need to enhance preventive strategies against meningitis.



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