A 10 years autopsy‑based study of maternal mortality in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Maternal mortality is the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and the site of the pregnancy. Nigeria is among the six countries that record over 50% of all maternal deaths in the world. There are few papers on autopsy based causes of maternal mortality. This paper is to present the causes of maternal mortality that had postmortem done in our center.
Materials and Methods: This is a 10‑year retrospective study of all maternal deaths seen in our center from January 01, 2005 to December 31, 2014. Lagos State University Teaching Hospital is the only state‑owned tertiary center and the main referral center in Lagos State. Autopsy records are taken from the death register and other information were extracted from the postmortem reports.
Results: Most maternal deaths 98/328 (29.9%) were seen in the age group 26–30 years which was followed by 31–35 years (24.7%). Postpartum hemorrhage was the most common cause of death followed by eclampsia. Direct causes accounted for 60% of maternal deaths with hemorrhage as the most common while cardiovascular related diseases are the most common indirect cause of death.
Conclusion: The leading causes of death in this study, hemorrhage, cardiovascular disease and eclampsia are highly avoidable and treatable. We recommend that thorough cardiovascular management should be instituted during antenatal care, and the government should focus more on an emergency response such as availability of adequate blood and blood products in the hospitals.
Key words: Autopsy, eclampsia, hemorrhage, maternal mortality