Plasma osmolarity and haematological changes in diarrhoeal children at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

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Eighty-eight diarrhoeal children between 0-12 years were investigated before management at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. However, only 36 of them were available for investigation after management. Fifty healthy children, with comparable ages, were used as controls. The incidence was highest in the 6.96-10.98 month age group. Biochemical studies revealed a 50.0 % improvement in natraemic cases after diarrhoeal management and a modest improvement of 5.6 % among kalaemic cases. There was a significant improvement in osmolarity among the diarrhoeal patients to the modest value of 58.6 % indicating the relevance and effectiveness of osmolar monitoring in the management of diarrhoeal patients. Also biochemical studies revealed a 52.8% improved natraemic cases, 9 1.7% improved kalaemic cases and 86.1% improved isomolar cases in the controls. The study called for the need to determine electrolyte levels in Ghanaian children before and during diarrhoeal management. Haematological findings indicated a mean value of 10.2056 g/dl, representing 6.8 % improvement in the haemoglobin content of patients, after management. There was a weight gain among the diarrhoeal patients after management. This was a modest value of 2.0 %. The mean haemoglobin levels and mean weight were 10.0833 g/dl and 8.5056 kg respectively among the controls. These findings further suggest that diarrhoeal patients who are well managed during the episode will show a remarkable improvement. A mortality rate of 3.4 % was observed among the patients studied who incidentally also showed a significant mean white cell count of 15.8 x 109/l.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Chemical Pathology, 1997