Characteristics of patients presenting with complications of abortion in a tertiary health facility in south-west Nigeria
Objectives: Abortion is associated with significant healthproblem with short- and long-term complications that affect the quality of life of those who are fortunate enough to escape mortality. This study evaluated the population of patients with complications of abortion, identified the abortion providers and the pattern of contraceptive usage in these patients managed in our hospital, and suggests strategies on the required heath intervention.
Design: The design was a descriptive study of cases of abortions with complications.
Setting and subjects: We reviewed all (225) cases of abortions with complications managed at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Nigeria, over a five-year period.
Outcome measures: Records of patients managed for abortion-related complications were retrieved, data were extracted and analysis was carried out for socio-demographic factors and other abortion-related characteristics.
Results: The study showed a more common occurrence of abortions among middle-aged (64.4%), multiparous (53.3%) women with a low socio-economic background (62.6%), and they were performed mostly by medical doctors in private settings (37.8%). The low usage of contraception (11.1%) was of significance.
Conclusion: This study provided considerable insight into the complications of abortion in a tertiary institution in Nigeria. Most of the patients were aware of contraception, but usage, which mainly constituted emergency contraception, was low. Despite prophylactic antibiotics, sepsis was the most common observed complication. Healthcare intervention should be
re-focused through the encouragement of the adoption of effective methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Healthcare providers should re-appraise their antibiotics regimen.
Keywords: unsafe abortion, abortion complications, contraception, Nigeria