Reducing Gastroschisis Mortality: A Quality Improvement Initiative at a Ugandan Pediatric Surgery Unit.
Wesonga A., Situma M., Lakhoo K.
INTRODUCTION: With modern treatment, survival of gastroschisis exceeds 90% in high-income countries. Survival in these countries has been largely attributed to prenatal diagnosis, delivery at tertiary facilities with timely resuscitation, timely intervention, parenteral nutrition and intensive care facilities. In sub-Saharan Africa, due to lack of these facilities, mortality rates are still alarmingly high ranging from 75 to 100%. In Uganda the mortality is 98%. AIM: The aim of this study was to reduce gastroschisis mortality in a feasible, sustainable way using a locally derived gastroschisis care protocol at a referring hospital in Western Uganda. METHODS: Data collection was performed from January to October 2018. Nursing staff were interviewed regarding the survival and management of gastroschisis babies. A locally derived protocol was created with staff input and commitment from all the team members. RESULTS: Four mothers absconded and 17 babies were cared for using the newly designed protocol. Seven survived and were well at one month post discharge follow-up, reducing the mortality for this condition from 98 to 59%. CONCLUSION: A dedicated team with minimal resources can significantly reduce the mortality in gastroschisis by almost 40% using a locally derived protocol.