Epidemiology of Disease and Mortality From a PICU in Mozambique*

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Objectives:Delivery of pediatric critical care in low-income countries is limited by a lack of infrastructure, resources, and providers. Few studies have analyzed the epidemiology of disease associated with a PICU in a low-income country. The aim of this study was to document the primary diagnoses and the associated mortality rates of patients presenting to a tertiary PICU in Mozambique in order to formulate quality improvement projects through an international academic partnership. We hypothesized that the PICU mortality rate would be high and that sepsis would be a common cause of death.Design:Retrospective, observational study.Setting:Tertiary academic PICU.Patients:All admitted PICU patients.Interventions:All available data collection forms containing demographic and clinical data of patients admitted to the PICU at Hospital Central de Maputo, Mozambique from January 2013 to December 2013 were analyzed retrospectively.Measurements and Main Results:The patient median age was 2 years (57% male). The most common primary diagnoses were malaria (22%), sepsis (18%), respiratory tract infections (12%), and trauma (6%). The mortality rate was 25%. Mortality rates were highest among patients with sepsis (59%), encephalopathy (56%), noninfectious CNS pathologies (33%), neoplastic diseases (33%), meningitis/encephalitis (29%), burns (26%), and cardiovascular pathologies (26%). The median length of PICU stay was 2 days. HIV exposure/infection had a nonstatistically significant association with mortality. Patients admitted for burns had the highest median length of PICU stay (4 d). Most trauma admissions were male (75%), and approximately half of all trauma admissions had an associated head injury (55%).Conclusions:Infectious disease and trauma were highly represented in this Mozambican PICU, and overall mortality was high compared with high-income countries. With this knowledge, targeted collaborative projects in Mozambique can now be created and modified. Further research is needed to monitor the potential benefits of such interventions.

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