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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 86-89

Features of childhood hepatic failure in Calabar, Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E E Ekanem
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The features in 21 patients with childhood hepatic failure studies retrospectively over a seven year period at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria are presented. Of the 21 patients, 71.4 per cent were aged three years nd below. Fulminant hepatic failure occurred in 81.0 per cent of the patients while in 19.0 per cent, the failure resulted from chronic liver disease. Hepatitis B infection alone or in association with other factors was the major cause of the condition, occurring in 76.2 per cent of the cases. The main complications were severe anaemia (23.8%), septicaemia (23.8%) and pneumonia (19.0%), renal failure (9.5%). With only one survival, the case fatality rate was 95.2 per cent. For prevention of the condition in Nigeria, universal mandatory screening of blood and blood products for hepatitis B markers before transfusion and the integration of hepatitis B vaccination into the National Expanded Programme on Immunization are strongly recommended.

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