Traumatic Injuries in the Newborn from Abdominal Massage in Pregnancy

  • Charles NT Amakiri Department of Pathology, Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Port Harcourt.
  • Chris Akani Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port Harcourt.


OBJECTIVE: This case is presented to highlight this preventable and treatable cause of early neonatal death.

METHOD: An early neonatal death due to liver rupture caused by maternal abdominal manipulation and massage is presented.

RESULTS: An apparently healthy baby girl was born to a 26 years old primigravida who came in the second stage of labour and was delivered of her baby within eight minutes of arrival to the labour ward. Her labour lasted about 4 hours and she had gone for abdominal manipulation and massaging before coming to the hospital. Apgar score at birth was 8 recorded 9 at 5 minutes. The baby was discovered to be very pale about 10 hours after delivery, so admitted in the special care baby unit where she died shortly afterwards while being investigated. Relations were aggrieved and had accused the hospital of negligence. They wrote to the hospital to explain the circumstances of the baby's death.

An autopsy (on the body) revealed massive intrabdominal haemorrhage resulting from a linear laceration of the right lobe of the liver. It was concluded that the massaging hands may have ruptured the baby's liver and she bled slowly and died of hypovolaemic shock ten hours later.

CONCLUSION: There is therefore need to educate the traditional midwifery practitioners and enlighten the patients on the hazards of abdominal massage in pregnancy and childbirth.

Nig Jnl Orthopaedics & Trauma Vol.2(2) 2003: 137-139

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-4582