Risk factors and perinatal outcome of umbilical cord prolapse in Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria

  • CA Kalu
  • OUJ Umeora
Keywords: Nigeria, perinatal outcome, risk factors, umbilical prolapse


Aim: The goal of this study was to identify risk factors associated with umbilical cord prolapse and to document the perinatal outcome of cases of cord prolapse.
Materials and Methods: During the period of the study (from July 1, 2001 and June 30, 2007), forty-six cases of umbilical cord prolapse were identified from the labor ward record and analyzed retrospectively. Associations between cord prolapse and potential risk factors were evaluated by means of the odds ratio.
Results: During the period of the study, 46 cases of cord prolapse were encountered out of 10,080 deliveries which was 0.46% of all deliveries. Of the 46 fetuses with umbilical cord prolapse 32.6% had a fetal weight of less than 2.5 kg compared with 15.2% for fetuses in control group (P<0.012). The umbilical cord prolapse occurred in association with breech presentation eleven times (23.9%) and transverse presentation seven times (15.2%). The occurrence of breech presentation among the control cases was 4.3% (P<0.00031), and that of transverse lie was 4.4%  (P<0.02007). Among the women that had cord prolapse, 47.8% had unbooked pregnancies compared with the control group with 14.5% (P<0.0000033). Multiparity accounted for 78.3% in the cord prolapse cases and 68.1% in the controls (P=0.19). The perinatal mortality rate was 413/1000. (41.3%), compared to the perinatal mortality of 58/1000 for the control group.
Conclusions: Our findings in this study has confirmed an association between increased risk of umbilical cord prolapse and abnormal fetal presentation, low birth weight and unbooked status. It is therefore suggested that pregnant women should be encouraged to register early in pregnancy for antenatal care and this will enhance the early identification of these risk factors and an appropriate management instituted to reduce perinatal mortality.

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eISSN: 1119-3077