A survey of ICU setups in the republic of Kenya
Background: Intensive care medicine is a medical specialty which focuses on management of critically ill patients. Critical illness describes a general state which may arise from various medical pathologies which may lead to impairment of vital or single organ function. The majority of critically ill patients in less developed countries, harboring two thirds of world populations do not have access to intensive care. In countries like Bangladesh, India and Nepal, there is an increase in availability of intensive care units although shortage in staffing, lack of basic medical supplies, poor maintenance of equipment, interrupted supplies often pose major challenges. These factors inevitably result to lack of recognition of intensive care medicine as a medical specialty in resource poor settings. Objectives: evaluate the current status of Intensive Care Unit setups & facilities in Kenya. Methodology: This was an observational; cross sectional survey study. The study was carried out in referral hospitals, provincial level 5 hospitals, mission hospitals and private hospitals with intensive care units. A survey tool was used for collecting data concerning bed capacity, number of working staff in ICU/specialty training, admission patterns for past 1 year, equipment availability & working capacity, availability of essential drugs used in ICU and laboratory support services. Results: A total of 21 hospitals were surveyed in the republic. The bed capacity of ICUs was low. There is a deficit of equipment, essential drugs and laboratory support services used in patient care. Shortage of workforce in areas of ICU nursing and Specialized ICU Physician. Post operative surgical cases are the leading causes of ICU admissions in Kenya. Conclusion: There is a deficit of ICUs in the Republic Of Kenya.