Spectrum of birth trauma and predisposing factors; experience in two Nigerian tertiary health facilities

  • P.E. Okoro
  • V.K. Oriji


Objectives: To highlight the spectrum of birth trauma encountered in our practice, identify the risk factors, and the management outcome in two tertiary health facilities in Nigeria.

Design: A five-year prospective case control observational study carried out between June 2013 and May 2018.

Setting: The Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Surgery and Family Medicine of: Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State Nigeria and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Subjects: Consecutive cases of birth trauma in infants seen within six weeks of life, and a control group of randomly selected similar infants without birth trauma. Factors investigated in this study were gestational age at birth, type of health facility, mode of delivery, presentation of baby during delivery, status of birth attendant, birth weight and maternal parity.

Results: There were 128 cases of birth trauma seen in 107 patients (BT group) during the study period. Forty six of these BT were delivered in our institutions giving hospital incidence of 3.1/1000 live births. Breech presentation, vaginal delivery, congenital malformation, instrument-assisted delivery, and birth weight above 3.5Kg were significantly associated with birth trauma.

Conclusion: A wide spectrum of birth trauma is encountered in our region and it is slightly different from those reported from other regions. Traumatized or ruptured congenital body swellings have been identified as a major predictor of mortality in patients with birth trauma in our region.

Conflicts of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest in carrying out this study. The entire study was funded by the authors themselves.


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eISSN: 0012-835X