An appraisal of retained placentae in Ibadan: a five year review

  • GO Obajimi
  • AO Roberts
  • CO Aimakhu
  • FA Bello
  • O Obajimi


Objectives: To determine the frequency of retained placenta at the University College Hospital Ibadan (UCH). and to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of the patients and examine the risk factors predisposing to retained placenta.
Methods: This is a descriptive study covering a period of 5 years from January 1st 2002 to December 31st 2006. During the study period, 4980 deliveries took place at the University College Hospital, Ibadan and 106 cases of retained placenta were managed making the incidence 2.13 per cent of all births.
Results: During the five year period, there were 106 patients with retained placenta; of these, 90 (84.9%) case notes were available for analysis. The mean age was 29.37 ± 4.99 years. First and second Para accounted for 52 per cent of the patients. Majority of the patient were unbooked for antenatal care in UCH with booked patients accounting for 27.8 per cent of the cases. The mean gestational age at delivery was 34.29 ± 6.02. Three patients presented to the hospital in shock of which 2 died on account of
severe haemorrhagic shock. Fifty-eight patients (64.8%) presented with anaemia (packed cell volume less than 30 per cent) and 35 patients (38.8%) had blood transfusion ranging between 1-4 pints. 1 patient required hysterectomy on account of morbidly adherent placenta. Eleven patients (12.2%) had placenta retention in the past, 28 patients (31%) had a previous dilatation and curettage, 14 patients (15.5%) had previous caesarean sections and 47 patients (41.3%) had no known predisposing factors

Conclusion: Retained placenta still remains a potentially life threatening condition in the tropics due to the associated haemorrhage, and other complications related to its removal. The incidence and severity may be decreased by health education, women empowerment and the provision of facilities for essential obstetric services by high skilled health care providers in ensuring a properly conducted delivery with active management of the third stage of labour.


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eISSN: 1597-1627