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Emergency medical epidemiology in Assam, India

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Author(s): Saddichha Sahoo | Saxena Mukul | Pandey Vibha | Methuku Mithilesh

Journal: Journal of Emergencies, Trauma and Shock
ISSN 0974-2700

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 170;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Medical emergency | emergency medical services | Assam

ABSTRACT
Background: Assam, with its capital in Dispur has one of the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in India. Being under both tribal and hilly regions, it has lacked adequate healthcare and emergency services. We therefore aimed to conduct a cross-sectional survey of medical emergencies and identify various types of emergencies presenting to emergency departments, prior to launching emergency services across the state. Materials and Methods: On a prospective basis and using a stratified random sampling design, all emergencies presenting to the three government hospitals in Guwahati, Assam, which handle 90% of all emergencies currently, were studied on specially designed datasheets in order to collect data. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) were placed in the Casualty of the medical colleges and recorded all emergencies on the datasheet. The collected data was then analysed for stratification and mapping of emergencies. In addition, retrospective data for a period of 15 days was collected from the emergency case registers of all three hospitals and the adjoining district civil hospitals, in order to give a wider perspective of the nature of emergencies. Results: A total of 2169 emergencies were recorded over a seven-day prospective and fifteen-day retrospective period. Guwahati Medical College Hospital attended to majority of emergencies (42%), which were mainly of the nature of pregnancies (22.7%), accidents (12.2%) or assaults (15.4%) and fever related. Maximum emergencies also presented from the border districts, and occurred among young males in the age group of 19-45 years. Males were also more prone to accidents and assaults, while females presented with pregnancies as emergencies. Conclusion: Potential emergency services need to target young pregnant females. Law and order needs to be also tightened in order to curb accidents and assaults among young males.
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