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Afr Health Sci. 2012 Mar;12(1):54-7.

Anaesthetic and obstetric challenges of morbid obesity in caesarean deliveries--a study in South-eastern Nigeria.

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  • 1Department of Anaesthesia, University of Nigeria, Enugu campus, Nigeria.



Morbid obesity of parturient has become very important in perinatal medicine because of a worldwide obesity epidemic. Morbid obesity of parturient is reportedly associated with severely increased anaesthetic and obstetric risk.


To determine the prevalence rate, anaesthetic and obstetric complications in morbidly obese parturient that had caesarean delivery in a Nigerian tertiary care centre.


The obstetric theatre records and case files were reviewed for caesarean deliveries in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria from May 2008 to December 2010. A sample size of 250 patients, calculated based on a prevalence rate of 19%, confidence interval of 95% , a power of 80% and a finite population of zero was used to determine the prevalence rate of morbid obesity (Body Mass Index of greater than or equal to 35 kg/m(2)).


There were thirty-one patients with morbid obesity (12.4%). The average Body Mass Index (BMI) was 38.3 kg/m(2)(SD ± 2.99). Other findings included macrosomia (7 or 25.8%), gestational diabetes (13%) and pregnancy induced hypertension (7 or 22.5%).There were two neonatal deaths but no maternal deaths.


The prevalence rate of morbid obesity is about 10% in Nigerian women of child bearing age. This mirrors a World Health Organisation report published in the World Health Organisation Global Information Base.


anaesthetic; morbid obesity; obstetric

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