Prevalence and pattern of stillbirths in a tertiary institution in South-East Nigeria
Background: Death of a foetus in-utero is devastating both to the parents and the attending obstetrician. Knowledge of the relative importance of the different causes will help in the prevention or reduction of its occurrence.
Aim: This study evaluated the prevalence and pattern of stillbirths at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi, Anambra State, South-East Nigeria.
Methodology: This was a retrospective study of 297 stillbirths at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi from 1st January, 2007 to 31st December, 2011.
Results: The stillbirth rate was 56.9/1000 deliveries. Majority of the cases 238 (80.1%) were unbooked. One hundred and twenty-nine (43.4%) were nulliparous. There were 180 (60.6%) male stillbirths while 117 (39.4%) were females. The major causes were abruptio placentae 40 (13.5%), prolonged pregnancy 38 (12.8%), uterine rupture 37 (12.5%) and pre-eclampsia 31 (10.4%). Seventy (23.6%) cases were unexplained.
Conclusion: The stillbirth rate is high in our centre. There is need for quality, accessible and affordable antenatal care and delivery services to reduce the rate of stillbirth. Establishment of a subspecialty of prenatal diagnosis and foetal medicine will help in reducing the rate of stillbirths in our environment.
Keywords: Foetal death, nulliparous, obstetric care, risk factors, unbooked