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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-37

Clinical characteristics, medication prescription pattern, and treatment outcomes at the neonatal intensive care unit of a tertiary health-care facility in Ghana


1 Department of Pharmacology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
3 Department of Pharmacy, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
4 Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana
5 Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Prof. George Asumeng Koffuor
Department of Pharmacology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
Ghana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jrpp.JRPP_20_118

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Objective: Neonates are more susceptible to infections, as well as medication toxicities. This study, therefore, sought to describe the clinical characteristics, medication prescription pattern, and treatment outcomes for neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a tertiary health-care facility in Ghana. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted to ascertain clinical records, conditions for admission, spectrum of medications prescribed, and treatment outcomes from neonatal patient folders. Findings: Of 667 folders reviewed (51.4% males and 48.6% female), 61.8% were preterm (mean gestational age: 34.2 ± 3.6 weeks), 64.6% had low birth weight (LBW) (mean birth weight: 2.1 ± 0.9 kg), 90.6% were delivered through spontaneous vaginal delivery, and 57.4% delivered at the tertiary health-care facility. Of the 667 neonates, 70%, 27.1%, and 2.9% were queried with one, two, or three medical conditions, respectively. Respiratory distress, preterm, and pyrexia were common single queried conditions (88.5%). LBW, hypothermia, and single queried medical conditions were associated (P ≤ 0.0001) with preterm male neonates. The mean duration of stay of preterm neonates was 3.5 ± 3.2 days (term babies: 1–2 days [P = 0.0085]). Of 1,565 medications prescribed to the 667 neonates, 67.5% were antibacterial, with gentamicin (53.0%) being the most prescribed. 98.4% of neonates were prescribed at least one medication (i.e., 67.5% were prescribed antibacterial medications, 14.6% supplements, 11.0% bronchodilators, and 7.0% antiseizure); mean medication combination 2.6 ± 0.8 per neonate. Majority (75.4%) of the cases reviewed had treatment success. Conclusion : Respiratory distress and preterm deliveries are predominant presenting conditions, with antibacterial medication, mainly gentamicin and ampicillin, on prescription. Treatment success is significantly high at the NICU.


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