Rupture of the gravid uterus in a tertiary health facility in the Niger delta region of Nigeria: A 5-year review
Background: Ruptured uterus is a major life-threatening condition encountered mostly in developing countries and is an index of failure of obstetric care at a point in time in a woman’s reproductive career. With worsening economic condition, increasing caesarean section rates, and patients’ aversion for operative delivery this condition would still remain a major obstetric matter for discussion.
Objective: To identify the incidence, sociodemographic variables, clinical characteristics, causes, and outcome of ruptured uterus at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Materials and Methods: A 5-year retrospective study of cases of ruptured uterus at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital was carried out. The case notes of 40 patients with uterine rupture during the period 2003-2007 were analyzed. Data collected included sociodemographic characteristics, etiologic factors, clinical presentation, and outcome. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel version 2007 and SPSS 14.0 computer software.
Results: The incidence of rupture of the gravid uterus was 1:258 deliveries. In patients with rupture of the gravid uterus, 65% (26) of patients were unbooked; 37.5% (15) were aged between 25 and 29 years. A total of 42.5% (17) of patients had secondary education and 21 (52.5%) were housewives. Rupture of a previous scar was the commonest etiologic factor accounting for 32.5% (11). The commonest presentation was abdominal pain in 92.5% of cases. Perinatal mortality and maternal mortality were 80% and 17.5% respectively.
Conclusion: Rupture of the gravid uterus still remains a major cause of maternal mortality. Injudicious use of oxytocics should be discouraged in peripheral health facilities and reinforcement of the need for hospital based deliveries in patients with previous caesarean sections should also be intensified to improve outcome.
Key words: Gravid uterus, rupture, UPTH, Nigeria