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Aim: To determine the incidences and types of psychiatric disorders, mortality, bed stay and management challenges found in our surgical in-patients.
Methods: A three-year retrospective study in which all cases with co-morbid psychiatric disorders admitted into the surgical wards of Central Hospital Benin city, Nigeria was carried out.
Results: Sixty surgical patients with psychiatric co-morbidity made up of 40 males and 20 females in a ratio of 2 to 1 were studied. 2.3% of all surgical admissions during the study period had psychiatric co-morbidity.
The patients’ ages ranged from 18 to 90 years with a mean age of 44.7 years and the median age of 45 years.
Post-operative delirium cases formed the bulk of psychiatric co-morbidity (50%) while road traffic accidents involving homeless people with psychosis (31.7%) made up the majority of the surgical disorders seen in this study.
The mortality rate in this study was 40% and 87.5% of deaths occurred in cases that developed delirium after surgery.
The bed stay of the patients ranged from 11.7 to 60.9 days with a mean of 33.1 days.
Conclusion: There were management challenges, long bed stay and a high mortality in surgical patients with psychiatric comorbidity.
A greater care of road traffic accident cases and early identification of mental illness in surgical patients are important. An alternative pain drug control for sickle cell anaemia patient is imperative.
Enhanced knowledge and awareness of psychiatric illnesses in the surgical wards is needful.