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

  • UV Okafor
  • ER Efetie
  • O Nwoke
  • O Okezie
  • U Umeh
Keywords: anaesthetic, obstetric, morbid obesity


Background: 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.
Objective: To determine the prevalence rate, anaesthetic and obstetric complications in morbidly obese parturient that had caesarean delivery in a Nigerian tertiary care centre.
Methods: 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 35kg/m2).
Results: There were thirty-one patients with morbid obesity (12.4%). The average Body Mass Index (BMI) was 38.3kg/m2 (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.
Conclusion: 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.

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eISSN: 1680-6905