n South African Journal of Surgery - An audit of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy performed on patients at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal - general surgery

Volume 57 Number 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Background: Resource constraints have resulted in upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (UGE) being deferred where possible. However, delayed investigation is costly and leads to disease progression. This study audits the UGE done at a single institution. It was motivated by the observation that public hospitals often experience an acute shortage of endoscopes, which are prone to frequent breaks and service delivery is further compromised by an increased workload.

Methods: This was a retrospective observational descriptive study of patients aged 20 to 45 years who had undergone gastrointestinal endoscopy (UGE) at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital (PMMH) in KwaZulu-Natal, during the period January 2015 to December 2015. One hundred and ninety-four patients’ charts and UGE reports were reviewed. Data were analysed using SPSS Statistics version 24. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05. Variables were expressed as mean ± standard deviation or medians (interquartile range IQR) as appropriate. Mean ± standard deviation was compared using the Student’s t-test. Proportions and categorical variables were compared using the Pearson’s chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test as appropriate. An ethical approval was obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal BREC (BE 447/17) and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health Ethics Committee.

Results: Epigastric pain was found to be the most common indication for UGE, with a total of 112 (57.7%) out of total of 194 patients, followed by upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) (42) (21.6%). Amongst patients presenting with epigastric pain, only 12(10.7%) patients could be confirmed that they had received acid suppression therapy prior to the testing. In the age group 20–25 years, there was a highest number of patients presenting with corrosive substance ingestion, 11 (25.0%). The commonest finding was gastritis in 99 patients (51.0%), followed by normal findings in 50 (25.7%) patients.

Epigastric pain was the most common indication and gastritis was the predominant finding.

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