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Int J Biomed Sci. 2009 Dec;5(4):390-4.

Perinatal outcome of babies delivered to eclamptic mothers: a prospective study from a nigerian tertiary hospital.

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  • 1Departments of Paediatrics, University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.



Eclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and perinatal mortality in Nigeria. Preventive and interventional measures have been shown to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity with no significant beneficial effect on neonatal outcomes. The aim of this study is to assess the perinatal outcome of eclampsia at the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).


This prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted on 88 consecutive patients presenting with antepartum eclampsia at the UPTH between 1(st) January 2007 and 31(st) December 2008. A protocol was developed and used to collect information about socio-demographic characteristics, mode of delivery, perinatal complications and outcome. Data collected was entered into a spread sheet using SPSS 15.0 for Windows(®) statistical software which was also used for analysis. Chi square was used to test relationship between variables. P value<0.05 was considered statistically significant.


There were a total of 5488 deliveries at the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital from January 2007 to December 2008. Of these, 5,310 were live births while 404 were perinatal deaths giving perinatal mortality rate of 73.6 per 1000 live births. Eighty eight (1.6%) of the mothers were eclamptic. Eight (9.1%) were booked, 80 (90.1%) were unbooked. The mean gestational age at delivery was 35.1 ± 4.2 weeks. The main mode of delivery was by emergency caesarian section in 49 (55.7%) of the patients. Others were spontaneous vertex delivery (34.1%), assisted vaginal breech delivery (6.8%) and instrumental vaginal delivery (3.4%). Fifty four babies (61.4%) were admitted into the Special Care Baby Unit. Indications for admission include prematurity (n=23), low birth weight (n=10), severe birth asphyxia (n=12), neonatal jaundice (n=4) and neonatal sepsis (n=5). There were 37 perinatal deaths giving a perinatal mortality rate of 411 per 1000 live births. Of the mortalities, 19 were intrauterine foetal deaths, while 18 were early neonatal deaths. Causes of death include severe birth asphyxia (n=6), respiratory distress syndrome (n=4), prematurity (n=4), neonatal jaundice (n=1) and sepsis (n=3).


Eclampsia is a major contributor of perinatal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria. Detection and appropriate management of preeclampsia is critical to reduce the risk of eclampsia.


antenatal care; eclampsia; perinatal outcome

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