Maternal and perinatal outcome of severe pre-eclampsia in Enugu, Nigeria after introduction of Magnesium sulfate

  • EOV Ugwu
  • CC Dim
  • CD Okonkwo
  • TO Nwankwo
Keywords: Diazepam, eclampsia, Enugu, magnesium sulfate, seizure prophylaxis, severe pre-eclampsia


Background: Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) is the most effective seizure prophylaxis in the management of severe preeclampsia, and its use is progressively spreading in our environment. It was introduced at the pioneer teaching hospital of southeastern Nigeria in 2007. A study on the outcome of its use is therefore necessary.
Objectives: The objective was to determine the effect of introducing MgSO4 on the maternal and perinatal outcomes of severe pre-eclampsia in Enugu, South eastern Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study of all cases of severe pre-eclampsia managed at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu (UNTH), Nigeria, from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2008 - 2 years before, and 2 years after the introduction of MgSO4 – was performed.
Result: The prevalence of severe preeclampsia within the study period was 3.3%. The mean age of study participants was 24.5 ± 2.9 years. Thirty women received MgSO4 while 47 women received diazepam. Eclampsia occurred only in a member of the diazepam group but there were no maternal deaths. Babies from the diazepam group were more likely to have low 1 minute Apgar scores but the association was not significant [OR = 3.08 (95% CI 0.78, 13.33)]. Longer hospital stay was significantly lower among women who received MgSO4 [OR = 0.32 (95% CI 0.11, 0.93)]. Perinatal mortality did not differ between the groups.
Conclusion: MgSO4 is effective in the management of severe pre-eclamptics at the UNTH, Enugu. Therefore, its accessibility and wider use should be promoted.

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eISSN: 1119-3077