Morbidity and mortality patterns of admissions into the special care baby unit of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Nigeria

  • A.A Okechukwu
  • A Achonwa
Keywords: Pattern morbidity, mortality, SpecialCareBabyUnit, admissions.


To determine the morbidity and mortality patterns of patients admitted into the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) of the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH), Gwagwalada, Nigeria. Aretrospective analysis of records of patients admitted into the SCBUof theUATHover an 18month period of January 2005 to June 2006was carried out. A total of 654 patients were admitted into SCBU of UATH during the review period, there were 351 (53.7%) males, and 303 (46.3%) females given a male to female ratio of 1.2:1. The four leading causes of admissions were low birth weight (LBW) 32.7%, neonatal sepsis (NNS) 19.1%, severe birth asphyxia (SBA) 12.7%, and neonatal jaundice (NNJ) 8.7%. Eighty one (37.9%) of the LBW were term and small for gestational (SGA), while 133 (62.1%) were preterm. Of the 87 (13.3%) deaths recorded during the review period, SBA (21.7%), LBW (20.1%), neonatal meningitis (15.4%),and NNS (11.2%) were the four leading causes of preventable deaths, while congenital abnormalities (20.0%) was the commonest cause of nonpreventable conditions. 71.2% of all deaths occurred within the first 72 hours of admission, while 57.7% of such deathswere babies ofmothers from low socio-economic background. Patterns of admissions andmortality into SCBU of UATH were comparable to studies elsewhere, and points to preventable conditions as the leading causes of such admissions and deaths. Efforts to reduce LBW, SBA, NNS and NNJ through enhancement of good antenatal and delivery services, as well as improvement in the facilities in the unit will assist in death reduction. Health education and economic empowerment especially  of women will be an added advantage .

Keywords: Pattern morbidity,mortality, SpecialCareBabyUnit, admissions.