The mortality of ill infants with false tooth extraction in a rural Ugandan emergency department


Submitted: 27 July 2016
Accepted: 10 June 2017
Published: 24 August 2017
Abstract Views: 998
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Authors

  • Amyna Husain Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States.
  • M. Douglas Baker Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States.
  • Mark C. Bisanzo University of Vermont Medical Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, United States.
  • Martha W. Stevens Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States.
False tooth extraction (FTE), a cultural practice in East Africa used to treat fever and diarrhea in infants, has been thought to increase infant mortality. The mortality of clinically similar infants with and without false tooth extraction has not previously been examined. The objective of our retrospective cohort study was to examine the mortality, clinical presentation, and treatment of infants with and without false tooth extraction. We conducted a retrospective chart review of records of infants with diarrhea, sepsis, dehydration, and fever in a rural Ugandan emergency department. Univariate analysis was used to test statistical significance. We found the mortality of infants with false tooth extraction (FTE+) was 18% and without false tooth extraction (FTE−) was 14% (P=0.22). The FTE+ study group, and FTE− comparison group, had similar proportions of infants with abnormal heart rate and with hypoxia. There was a significant difference in the portion of infants that received antibiotics (P=0.001), and fluid bolus (P=0.002). Although FTE+ infants had clinically similar ED presentations to FTE− infants, the FTE+ infants were significantly more likely to receive emergency department interventions, and had a higher mortality than FTE− infants.

Husain, A., Baker, M. D., Bisanzo, M. C., & Stevens, M. W. (2017). The mortality of ill infants with false tooth extraction in a rural Ugandan emergency department. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2017.582

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