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Severe Birth Asphyxia in Wesley Guild Hospital, lesa: A persistent plague!

TA Ogunlesi
SB Oseni


To compare the incidence and the mortality associated with severe birth asphyxia over the 1994 to 1998 and 1999 to 2003 periods in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital. These periods were characterized by different social orders and health financing in the country. The babies admitted with the diagnosis of severe birth asphyxia over the two periods were compared for the places of delivery and outcome of hospitalization using Odds Ratio and 95% Confidence Interval. The 496 babies with severe birth asphyxia comprised 219 (44.2%) in-born babies and 277 (55.8%) out-born babies. The incidence of severe birth asphyxia was 93.7/1000 admissions for the 1994 to 1998 period and 100.2/1000 admissions for the 1999 to 2003 period. The in-born babies significantly dominated in the period between 1994 and 1998 but not in the period between 1999 and 2003 (53.7% vs 38.3%; OR = 2.07, 95%CI = 1.42 – 3.01). While the proportion of asphyxiated babies delivered at the hospital fell significantly over the two periods (53.7% to 35.9%), the proportions increased over these periods for church (13.9% to 31.1%) and home deliveries (6.1% to 13.1%). The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) over the period of ten years was 20.8% and it was also similar for both periods (19.2% vs 22.4%; OR = 0.82; 95%CI = 0.52 – 1.30). The incidence and mortality associated with severe birth asphyxia in Ilesa, Nigeria remained significantly high over a period of ten years despite changes in social order.

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 53 (3) 2008: pp. 40-43

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