Adult surgical admissions at a Botswana tertiary teaching hospital – spectrum, comorbidity profile, and outcomes



comorbidities, outcomes, pattern, spectrum, surgical admissions


Background: Documentation on the spectrum, comorbidities, profile, and outcomes of adult surgical admissions in Botswana is limited. This information may guide manpower distribution for proposed rotations in the new general surgery training programmes.

Methods: The medical records of adult surgical admissions for a period of one year (August 2017 – July 2018) were reviewed retrospectively. Demographics, types of admissions, dates of admission and discharge, and known comorbidities were captured and the outcomes were analysed.

Results: Of the 2610 admissions the mean age was 44.4 years and 60.8% were male. Gastrointestinal tract (GIT), neurosurgical, and cardiothoracic admissions constituted 60.7%. Emergency admissions constituted 50.1%. Comorbidities were found in 45.6% of the admissions, and HIV-prevalence was 697/1822 (38.3%) among known HIV-status patients. Elective admissions underwent more surgical procedures, 776/1303 (59.6%), p = 0.001 (COR 1.9, 95% CI:1.7–2.3). A total of 220/2610 complications (8.4%) were documented, including 42/1355 (3.1%) superficial surgical site infections and159/2610 deaths (6.1%). Hypertension and diabetes mellitus were associated with higher mortality, p = 0.002 (COR 1.8, 95% CI:1.2–2.6) and p = 0.031 (COR 1.9, 95% CI:1.1–3.4) respectively. HIV-positive patients had longer hospital stays than HIV-negative patients, p = 0.001 (COR 1.03, 95% CI:1.02–1.04). HIV-positive admissions with CD4 count < 200
had significantly higher composite complication and mortality rate than those with ≥ 200, p = 0.002 (COR 3.03, 95% I:1.52–6.04) and p = 0.001 (COR 4.34, 95% CI:2.08–9.05) respectively.

Conclusion: Contributions of emergency and elective admissions were even. A higher burden of diseases was found in gastroenterology. The higher mortalities associated with hypertension, diabetes, and CD4 count < 200 warrant further study.

Author Biographies

AG Bedada, University of Botswana

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Botswana

MJ Mpapho, University of Botswana

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Botswana

SG Hamda, University of Botswana

Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Botswana






General Surgery