Unattended Deliveries and Perinatal Outcome: A Tertiary Hospital Experience

  • EI Archibong
  • AA Sobande
  • HM Al-Bar
  • AA Asindi


Objective: To determine the neonatal morbidity and mortality pattern in a cohort of infants born outside hospital but admitted in Abha Maternity Hospital, Saudi Arabia. Patients and Methods: The charts of 151 women and their infants born at home or en route to the hospital were reviewed and the findings were compared with those of 300 in-hospital (in-born) deliveries from January 1990 to December 1996.

Results: Of the 151 unattended deliveries, 36 percent occurred at home and 64 percent in motor vehicles. Eighty-three percent of the out-born and 63 percent of the controls had no antenatal care. The incidence of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) was significantly higher (p=0.002) among the out-born cases. Perinatal mortality among the out-born deliveries was 6.7 percent, in contrast to the 1.0 percent in the in-born group.

Conclusion: Despite adequate health facilities and governmental financial support, lack of health education and initiative on the part of the patients might be a major contributing factor to the high level of unattended deliveries with the associated adverse outcome. Intensive health education with emphasis on the need for antenatal care and on the dangers of delivering infants outside health facilities is advocated.

Keywords: Unattended delivery, perinatal outcome, Saudi Arabia

Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics 2002; 29: 66-70.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0302-4660