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Patients ''Trafficked'' to the Emergency Department: Renal Failure and Other Effects on the Community Health

Author(s): Ozgur KARCIOGLU | Serdar OZTORA | Sennaz SAHIN | Seckin Bahar SEZGIN | Uyaris COBAN | Sila SADILLIOGLU | Yilmaz AYDIN | Mustafa YAZICIOGLU

Journal: Turkish Journal of Emergency Medicine
ISSN 1304-7361

Volume: 9;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 169;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Acute prerenal failure | emergency department | human trafficking | malnutrition | volume depletion.

Introduction: Illegal trafficking of human beings is a social and economic phenomenon which is to be combated seriously. Acute renal failure in trafficked human beings is not common and usually results from prerenal failure. Case Series: This paper describes a group of illegal immigrants brought into the emergency department (ED) after being arrested by the police as victims of human trafficking. The group consisted of 20 young males around their twenties. They were all dehydrated and malnourished after a long journey allegedly suffered in a truck trailer. Thirteen out of 160 were reportedly dead in the whole group. Vital signs were within normal limits in all. Nine cases were found to be confused on admission, including seven with high renal function test values (BUN and creatinine). Three cases had creatinine levels higher than 4 mEq/L. These cases with acute prerenal failure were aggressively and successfully treated with volume replacement. One patient was admitted to the internal medicine ward, while others were treated in the ED for prerenal failure. Some others were vaccinated against tetanus due to cuts in extremities. After stabilization and proper treatment, the patients recovered within several days and were discharged without any sequelae. Conclusion: Clinicians should not overlook the possibility of acute prerenal failure resulting from volume depletion and malnutrition in patients subjected to illegal journeys lasting for weeks in the context of trafficking of humans. Aggressive rehydration and other supportive measures are mainstay points in the emergency management.
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