oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - Charcoal-roasted plantain and fish vendors in Port Harcourt : a potential anaesthetic high risk group? : scientific letter

Volume 14, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



A survey of charcoal-roasted plantain and fish (CRPF) vendors in Port Harcourt, Nigeria was carried out to determine if they were a potential anaesthetic high risk group. Questionnaires which contained vendor's biodata and educational qualification including information on hours of exposure as well as number of years in the business and respiratory symptoms if present were filled by the authors in the presence of the vendors. Oxygen saturation and heart rate were recorded using the Nonnin 9250 portable battery-operated oximeter. Results were programmed into Microsoft EXCEL work sheet and data analysed.

A total of 102 vendors were visited at their place of work over a three month period. Two declined to be interviewed leaving 100 vendors. All vendors were women aged 16 to 60 years (mean 34.3 years). More than half of the vendors (52%) had secondary level education. Seventeen per cent were part-time vendors while 83% were full-time. Number of years of exposure ranged from 1 to 30 years (Mean 6.4 years). The daily duration of exposure ranged from 4 to 14 hours (mean 7.7 hours). Mean oxygen saturation was 97%, while mean pulse rate was 85bpm. There were no significant respiratory symptoms.
We conclude from this survey that outdoor cooking or roasting with charcoal less than 14 hours daily for less than 10 years may not be enough to cause respiratory problems or pose any significant anaesthetic risk.

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