Background: Diabetes represents a rapidly increasing and challenging global health burden in the 21st century, especially in the sub-Saharan African regions. While the burden of diabetes is increasing, in many low- and middle-income health care systems, primary care and diabetes prevention and management strategies are still in development.
Purpose: To examine characteristics of emergency department use by persons living with diabetes at the Grand M’bour hospital in Senegal.
This study used prospective emergency department cases that have presented between 06/22/2017 and 07/14/2017 to the hospital. Diabetics were selected for an interview following a flow sheet of questions. Measures recorded included glucose level at arrival time, chief complaint, current treatment, and the treatment given in the emergency department.
A total of 20 participants were interviewed. The average age was 48.7 and 52.5 were female. Half had elevated blood pressure. Average blood glucose was 250 mg/dl with a maximum of 450 mg/dl. Treatment given was mostly for diabetes related wounds (30%), hypoglycemia (15%) and abdominal pain (20%).
Discussion : The majority of diabetic patients came to the emergency department for complications like infected wounds, hypoglycemia, Hyperglycemia and DKA. All of these conditions could have been prevented and managed in a primary care setting, which is lacking in M'bour, Senegal. A previous study showed that more than 75% of diabetics in M’bour are most likely to suffer from diabetes complications due to lack of glycemic control, and may eventually end up visiting the emergency department.
Diabetic patients in M’bour overused the emergency department for management of preventable diabetic complications.
Penn State University College of Medicine
Houda Bouhmam, 3th year medical student at PSUCOM.
Professor/Chair of the Health Management and Policy Program
Saint Louis University's College of Public Health and Social Justice
Rhonda BeLue, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Health Management and Policy Program at Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health and Social Justice.