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1.  Splenic injuries at Bugando Medical Centre in northwestern Tanzania: a tertiary hospital experience 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:59.
Background
Splenic injuries constitute a continuing diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to the trauma or general surgeons practicing in developing countries where sophisticated imaging facilities are either not available or exorbitantly expensive. The purpose of this review was to describe our own experience in the management of the splenic injuries outlining the aetiological spectrum, injury characteristics and treatment outcome of splenic injuries in our local environment and to identify predictors of outcome among these patients.
Methods
A prospective descriptive study of splenic injury patients was carried out at Bugando Medical Centre in Northwestern Tanzania between March 2009 and February 2011. Statistical data analysis was done using SPSS software version 17.0.
Results
A total of 118 patients were studied. The male to female ratio was 6.4:1. Their ages ranged from 8 to 74 years with a median age of 22 years. The modal age group was 21-30 years. The majority of patients (89.8%) had blunt trauma and road traffic accidents (63.6%) were the most frequent cause of injuries. Most patients sustained grade III (39.0%) and IV (38.1%) splenic injuries. Majority of patients (86.4%) were treated operatively with splenectomy (97.1%) being the most frequently performed procedure. Postoperative complications were recorded in 30.5% of cases. The overall length of hospital stay (LOS) ranged from 1 day to 120 days with a median of 18 days. Mortality rate was 19.5%. Patients who had severe trauma (Kampala Trauma Score II ≤ 6) and those with associated injuries stayed longer in the hospital (P < 0.001), whereas age of the patient, associated injuries, trauma scores (KTS II), grade of splenic injuries, admission systolic blood pressure ≤ 90 mmHg, estimated blood loss > 2000 mls, HIV infection with CD4 ≤ 200 cells/μl and presence of postoperative complications were significantly associated with mortality (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
Trauma resulting from road traffic accidents (RTAs) remains the most common cause of splenic injuries in our setting. Most of the splenic injuries were Grade III & IV and splenectomy was performed in majority of the cases. Non-operative management can be adopted in patients with blunt isolated and low grade splenic injuries but operative management is still indispensable in this part of Tanzania. Urgent preventive measures targeting at reducing the occurrence of RTAs is necessary to reduce the incidence of splenic injuries in our centre.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-59
PMCID: PMC3274421  PMID: 22269803
Splenic injuries; Aetiological spectrum; Injury characteristics; Treatment outcome; Predictors of outcome; Tanzania
2.  Ultrasound Guided Needle Aspiration versus Surgical Drainage in the management of breast abscesses: a Ugandan experience 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:12.
Background
Despite breast abscess becoming less common in developed countries, it has remained one of the leading causes of morbidity in women in developing countries. A randomized controlled trial was conducted at Mulago hospital complex in Kampala Uganda to establish whether ultrasound guided needle aspiration is a feasible alternative treatment option for breast abscesses.
Results
A total of 65 females with breast abscess were analyzed, of these 33 patients were randomized into the ultrasound guided needle aspiration and 32 patients in the Incision and drainage arm. The mean age was 23.12, most of them were lactating (66.2%), primipararous (44.6%) with peripheral abscesses (73.8%) located in the upper lateral quadrant (56%).The mean breast size was 3.49 cm. The two groups were comparably in demographic characteristic and breast abscess size. Survival analysis showed no difference in breast abscess healing rate between the two groups (Log rank 0.24 df 1 and P = 0.63). Incision and drainage was found to be more costly than ultrasound guided aspiration (cost effective ratio of 2.85).
Conclusion
Ultrasound guided needle aspiration is therefore a feasible and cost effective treatment option for both lactating and non lactating breast abscesses with a diameter up to 5 cm by ultrasound in an immune competent patient
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-12
PMCID: PMC3284878  PMID: 22226127
Breast abscess; Ultrasound guided needle aspiration; Surgical drainage; Uganda
3.  Pattern of childhood burn injuries and their management outcome at Bugando Medical Centre in Northwestern Tanzania 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:485.
Background
Burn injuries constitute a major public health problem and are the leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. There is paucity of published data on childhood burn injuries in Tanzania, particularly the study area. This study was conducted to describe the pattern of childhood burn injuries in our local setting and to evaluate their management outcome.
Methods
A cross sectional study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre (in Northwestern Tanzania) over a 3-year period from January 2008 to December 2010. Data was collected using a pre-tested coded questionnaire and statistical analyses performed using SPSS software version 15.0.
Results
A total of 342 burned children were studied. Males were mainly affected. Children aged = 2 were the majority accounting for 45.9% of cases. Intentional burn injuries due to child abuse were reported in 2.9% of cases. Scald was the most common type of burns (56.1%). The trunk was the most commonly involved body region (57.3%). Majority of patients (48.0%) sustained superficial burns. Eight (2.3%) patients were HIV positive. Most patients (89.8%) presented to the hospital later than 24 h. The rate of burn wound infection on admission and on 10th day were 32.4% and 39.8% respectively.Staphylococcus aureus were more common on admission wound swabs, with Pseudomonas aeruginosa becoming more evident after 10th day. MRSA was detected in 19.2% of Staphylococcus aureus. Conservative treatment was performed in 87.1% of cases. Surgical treatment mainly skin grafting (65.9%) was performed in 44 (12.9%) of patients. The overall average of the length of hospital stay (LOS) was 22.12 ± 16.62 days. Mortality rate was 11.7%. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis; age of the patient, type of burn, delayed presentation, clothing ignition, %TBSA and severity of burn were found to be significantly associated with LOS (P < 0.001), whereas mortality rate was found to be independently and significantly related to the age of the patient, type of burn, HIV positive with stigmata of AIDS, CD4 count, inhalation injury, %TBSA and severity of burn (P < 0.001).
Conclusion
Childhood burn injuries still remain a menace in our environment with virtually unacceptable high morbidity and mortality. There is need for critical appraisal of the preventive measures and management principles currently being practiced.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-485
PMCID: PMC3270007  PMID: 22070934
Childhood burn injuries; Patterns; Management outcome; Tanzania

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