Determinants of mortality in Nigerian children with severe anaemia

Samuel Adegoke, Adenike Ayansanwo, Isaac Oluwayemi, John Okeniyi


Background. Severe anaemia (haemoglobin concentration less than 50 g/l) is a major cause of paediatric hospital admissions and deaths in the tropics.

Objectives.To examine the pattern and predictors of mortality among severely anaemic children.

Methods. A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted among children with severe anaemia at the Children’s Emergency Room of the University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. Socio-demographic characteristics, clinical features, laboratory findings and co-morbidities of the survivors and those who died were compared by logistic regression analysis.

Results. Of the 1 735 children admitted, 311 (17.9%) had severe anaemia, with a case - fatality rate of 9.3%. The presence of respiratory distress (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.1 - 3.6, p=0.031); acidosis (95% CI 1.8 - 2.7, p=0.010); coma (95% CI 0.1 - 0.3, p=0.001); hypotension (95% CI 2.0 - 4.2, p=0.020); and bacteraemia (95% CI 3.1 - 3.9; p=0.008) were the significant independent predictors of death with regression analysis.

Conclusion. Early recognition with prompt and appropriate anticipatory intervention is essential to reduce mortality from severe anaemia.

Authors' affiliations

Samuel Adegoke, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Adenike Ayansanwo, Department of Haematology, University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti

Isaac Oluwayemi, Department of Paediatrics, University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti

John Okeniyi, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Full Text



Children, Determinants, Mortality, Nigeria, Severe Anaemia

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(10):807-810. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.5240

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-08-21
Date published: 2012-08-20

Article Views

Abstract views: 4417
Full text views: 6176

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here