Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 109-115

Unknown patients and neurology casualty services in an Indian metropolitan city: A decades experience


1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Neuroimaging and Interventional Radiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
5 Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Ravi Yadav
Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.205764

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Objectives: A large number of unknown patients without any personal, family, or other identification details represent a unique problem in the neurological emergency services of developing countries like India in a context of legal, humanitarian, and treatment issues. These patients pose a diagnostic and management challenge to treating physicians and staff. There are sparse data on these patients. The objective of this study was to know the clinical, socio-demographic, and investigational profile of “unknown” patients. Materials and Methods: We did retrospective chart review of all “Unknown” patients from January 2002 to December 2011, who was admitted under Neurology Emergency Service at a Tertiary Care Neuropsychiatry Center in South Indian Metropolitan City. Clinical and sociodemographic characteristics and clinical outcome of the sample were analyzed. Results: A total of 151 unknown patients were admitted during the 10 years. Out of these, 134 (88.7%) were males with the mean age of 43.8 ± 14.8 years and 95 (63%) were aged >40 years. Among them, 147 (97.4%) were from the urban vicinity, 126 (83.6%) were brought by police and 75 (49.7%) were registered as medico-legal cases. Out of these, only 3 (2%) patients had normal sensorium, whereas 101 (66.9%) presented with loss of consciousness. Forty-one (27.2%) unknown patients had a seizure disorder, 37 (24.5%) had metabolic encephalopathy, 26 (17.2%) had a stroke, 9 (6%) had neuro-infection, and 17 (11.3%) had a head injury. Deranged liver functions were seen in 65 (43%), renal derangement in 37 (24.5%), dyselectrolytemia in 42 (27.8%), and abnormal brain imaging finding in 95 (62.9%) patients. Furthermore, there were 14 (9.3%) deaths. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate seizures, metabolic causes, and neuro-infections were the primary reasons for admission of unknown patients to neuro-emergency service. This novel Indian study data show the common causes of admission of unknown patients in neurology. This pattern can be useful to guide the approach of healthcare providers in India.


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