In-Hospital Complications of Acute Meningo-Encephalitis among Children Admitted at AL-Sadaqa General Teaching Hospital
Introduction: Acute meningo-encephalitis (ME) is one of the most dreadful infections in children, frequently associated with high rates of complications and potentiality for death. This study aimed to find out the types and frequencies of complications among children with acute viral and bacterial, and the possible factors influencing their occurrence. Methods: This prospective descriptive study was conducted on children (1 month – 14 years of age) admitted in AL-Sadaqa Teaching Hospital - Aden with acute ME confirmed by cerebrospinal fluid analysis, during the period 1st January- 30th June 2010.
Results: Out of the 60 patients included in this study, 40% had bacterial and 60% were with viral ME. Males predominated in both bacterial (54.2%) and viral (66.7%) ME. In the two types; majority of the patients were < 5 years of age (83.3%, and 86.1% respectively). Complications were observed in 50% of the studied samples, being in higher frequency among patients with bacterial (63.3%) than those with viral (36.7%) infection, p=<0.001. Complications were more frequent in relation to age <5 years (83.3%), male gender (60%), duration of illness before admission 3-7 days (83.4%), and lack of exclusive breast feeding during the first six months (80.6%). Common complications were increased intracranial pressure (53.3%), anemia (50%), and hypoglycemia (43.3%), and all were seen in significant higher proportions of patients in the bacterial group than those in the viral variety: (70.8% vs. 41.7%), (66.7% vs. 38.9%), (66.7% vs. 27.8%), respectively (p < 0.05). The case fatality rate was 2.8 % in viral ME, and 12.5 % in the bacterial type.
Conclusion: Acute ME commonly associated with multiple and serious complications and may lead to fatal outcome. Therefore, active measures to promote immunization, and exclusive breast feeding, along with early diagnosis and proper treatment are highly recommended.
Keywords: Bacterial Meningo-Encephalitis, Viral Meningo- Encephalitis, Under 5 years, Lack of exclusive breast feeding, Increased intracranial pressure.