Higher order multiple births in Nigeria: Experiences, challenges and neonatal outcomes in a private health facility
Objectives: The aim of this study is to describe the experience and outcome of higher order multiple (HOM) births in a private tertiary health facility in Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective review of records of HOM over 3 years in a private tertiary health facility in Nigeria. Relevant data on HOM births were extracted from both the patients’ case notes, admission registers and maternity ward and delivery records of the hospital using a predesigned pro forma. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 22.0.
Results: The prevalence of HOM births was 0.72% of 1950 births over the 3 years study period; while for triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets were 0.56%, 0.1% and 0.05%, respectively. The mean gestational age was 32 ± 3 weeks, and all except three sets of triplets were by Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Respiratory distress syndrome, neonatal jaundice, and neonatal sepsis accounted for more than 80% of the neonatal complications noted in HOM births. However, there was no significant difference between neonatal survival of HOM as compared to twin deliveries, P = 0.08.
Conclusion: HOM is becoming increasingly common in Nigeria. The strongest risk factor is ART, and neonatal complications are common reinforcing the need to streamline ART protocols in Nigeria.
Keywords: Higher order multiple births, neonatal outcome, Nigeria, private health facility