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Assessment of the neonatal referral and transport system for patients with gastroschisis in Kenya.

PURPOSE: To assess the neonatal referral and transport system for gastroschisis patients referred to a tertiary level hospital in Kenya.

METHODS: This was a prospective cross-sectional study carried out at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) which recruited patients with gastroschisis using consecutive sampling approach. Data were collected on pre-, intra-transit factors, time and distance covered. Assessment was done using pre and intra transit factors as per the standard transport protocols in literature.

RESULTS: Twenty-nine patients presented with gastroschisis during the eight month study period. Mean age was 7.07 h. There were 16 (55.2%) males and 13 (44.8%) females. Mean birthweight was 2020 g, and a mean gestational age of 36.5 weeks. Mean duration of transit was 5 h. Mean distance from referring facility was 153.1 km. Most affected factors in the pre-transit protocol were lack of monitoring chart (0%), comment on blood investigations (0%), gastric decompression (3.4%), and prenatal obstetric scan (44.8%). For intra-transit scores, most affected were incubator use (0%), bowel monitoring (0%), functioning nasogastric tube (13.8%), and adequate bowel cover (34.5%).

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that pre-transit and transit care of neonates with gastroschisis is inadequate in Kenya. Interventions needed, as identified by this study, to promote care of neonates with gastroschisis are advised.

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