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Afrimedic Journal

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Stillbirths at the Federal Medical Center Owerri

BC Okorochukwu, BU Ezem

Abstract


Background: A stillbirth is a calamity and causes great distress both to parents and to the attending obstetrician or midwife. There is a paucity of information about stillbirths in Imo State, Nigeria.
Aim : This study is to determine the causes and rate of stillbirths in Federal Medical Centre Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
Method: This is a retrospective study of 296 stillbirths at st Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, between 1 of January2000 st and December 31 2004.
Results: The stillbirth rate was 59.6/1000 deliveries. Most cases,208(72.7%), occurred in unbooked patients and nullipara accounted for 34.4% of cases. Most 126(44.1%) cases were in the 26-30 year age range and the major risk factors were pre-eclampsia 40(13.9%),abruptio placentae 39(13.6%), prolonged obstructed labour 30(10.5%)and prolonged pregnancy 28(9.8%).
Conclusion: Most cases of stillbirth were preventable and could be avoided by simple measures like antenatal care booking, delivery under the care of skilled personnel and early referral to centres that could perform caesarean section. The role of congenital abnormalities needs to be researched as the absence of postmortem examination made it impossible to determine their contribution.

Key words: Stillbirths, causes, Tertiary Centre, Nigeria.



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