Sudden Cardiac Death: Clinical Perspectives from the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria


Despite tremendous advances in the management of cardiovascular diseases and cardiac arrest, there is paucity of information regarding sudden cardiac death in sub-Saharan Africa. We present a two-year review of sudden cardiac death cases among patients managed at a Nigerian tertiary hospital. Patients admitted from January 2012 to December 2013 were prospectively followed-up and cases of sudden cardiac death identified. Diagnosis was based on records of events preceding death, direct interview of attending physician/nurses, and family members/eye witnesses for out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death. Causes of death were obtained from the death certificates for cases of in-hospital events. Three hundred and eighty eight (M:F = 1:1.3) patients with a mean age of 42.22 ± 19.30 years were admitted into the cardiac unit during the period, out of whom 56 (14.4%) died. Twenty three (41.1%) were classified as sudden cardiac death. The predominant etiology was ischemic cardiomyopathy (39.1%), followed by peripartum cardiomyopathy (21.7%) and dilated cardiomyopathy (17.4%). Rheumatic heart disease was diagnosed in 17.4%, while 4.3% had pulmonary hypertension. Nineteen (82.6%) of the subjects had congestive cardiac failure. Hypokalemia and hypocalcaemia were recorded in 2 (8.7%) patients who developed prolongation of the QT interval following commencement of diuretics. Chest-compression-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation was attempted in 12 (52.1%) with a success rate of 8.3%. Sudden cardiac death is common among our patients admitted with cardiovascular diseases. The most common etiology is ischemic cardiomyopathy, followed by peripartum cardiomyopathy. Most of the victims were young, and there were no optimum resuscitative measures.

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Talle, M. , Bonny, A. , Bakki, B. , Buba, F. , Anjorin, C. , Yusuph, H. and Kane, A. (2015) Sudden Cardiac Death: Clinical Perspectives from the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, 5, 95-106. doi: 10.4236/wjcd.2015.55013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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