Reducing maternal mortality in conflict areas: Surgical-anesthetic experience in Boost Hospital - Afghanistan
Introduction: Helmand province, whose capital is Lashkar-Gah, is one of the most volatile provinces affected by the conflict in Afghanistan. Doctors without Borders began to work in Boost Hospital in 2009.
Method: Retrospective review of surgical procedures at the Doctors without Borders Operational Center in Brussels, February 11, 2010 to September 30, 2012.
Results: 5719 surgeries were performed on 4334 patients. 47% were emergency interventions and 75% were first interventions. 39.7% (n = 1721) of patients were female. In the Gyneco-obstetric (G) area, the average age was 31.3 years. 848 Cesarean operations (76%) were performed and 95% of these were urgent. Of these patients (n = 598) 64% were at ASA II. Spinal anesthesia (SA) was administered in 44.4% (n = 415) of patients, followed by general anesthesia without intubation (GA-) in 39.3% (n = 367). In 16% (n = 151), general anesthesia was administered with endotracheal intubation (GA+). Transoperatory mortality was 0.8% (n=7).
Conclusions: The Boost Hospital offers a surgical service of relevance in the south of Afghanistan. This hospital is supported by Doctors without Borders (MSF) and has helped to reduce the maternal mortality in that region through the provision of quality care in obstetric emergencies. By applying health standards, and medical teams and material, MSF has helped the Afghan population, particularly gestating mothers, to improve its health while achieving a transoperatory mortality in Cesareans of <1%.
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