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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1992 Mar;37(3):193-7.

Health and economic consequences of septic induced abortion.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Over a period of 7 years, 230 cases of illegally induced abortions complicated by sepsis were treated at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria. The number of terminations complicated by sepsis doubled from 25.4 (between 1981 and 1985) to 51.0 (between 1986 and 1987) cases per year. Peritonitis was the commonest associated complication while maternal mortality was 8.3%. The average cost of treatment was US$223.11, while the average monthly earnings was US$45.00. Legalization of abortion would have resulted in a saving of US$50,022.28. Provision of legal abortion would reduce the incidence of sepsis after termination while reproductive health education and information dissemination and provision of easily accessible family planning services would greatly reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.

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