Dr Muhammad Ahmad Khan, Dr Omar Asghar, Dr Qurrat ul Ain
Aim: To determine morbidity patterns in children with severe acute malnutrition. Methods: This cross-sectional study has been conducted at the Pediatric unit II of Nishter Hospital Multan for one year duration from April 2019 to April 2020. Children aged 1-59 months with severe acute malnutrition (WHZ <-3 SD and / or bilateral pitting edema) were included. All patients were evaluated for clinical signs, various diseases such as infections, metabolic disorders, congenital / hereditary disorders and the result as stabilization, contrary to medical recommendations (LAMA) or expired at exit. Data was collected and analyzed using SPSS version 17 descriptive statistics. Results: One hundred and thirty children with an average age of patients - 16.8 months were examined. Serious cachexia was observed in 80.8%, while edema malnutrition occurred in 19.2% of cases. Anemia was found in 88% and 65.4% were feverish during the presentation. Diarrhea (50.8%), pneumonia (20%) and sepsis (16.2%) were the most common infections; while hyponatraemia (22.6%), hypokalemia (13.7%) and hypoglycemia (10.7%) were the most common metabolic disorders. Rickets (7.7%) and congenital / hereditary diseases (14.6%) were associated with this disorder. The result was stabilization in 83.1%, LAMA in 10.8% and death in 6.2% of cases. Conclusion: The spectrum of illness in severely malnourished children admitted to hospital includes both infections and congenital or hereditary disorders. Diarrhea and sepsis with metabolic disorders were the main contributors to death. Key words: morbidity, exhaustion, edema malnutrition, infections, metabolic disorders.