Anaesthetic challenges in emergency peripartum hysterectomy in West Africa: a Nigerian perspective

  • UV Okafor
  • HU Ezegwui
  • O Okezie
Keywords: anaesthesia, peripartum hysterectomy, West Africa, Nigeria


Background: To determine the foeto-maternal outcome and the anaesthetic challenges in emergency peripartum hysterectomy at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Nigeria. Method: A retrospective study was carried out on parturients that had had emergency peripartum hysterectomy at UNTH in Nigeria, from July 1998 to June 2006. Data collected included demographics, anaesthetic and obstetric records, foeto-maternal outcomes and the need for critical care management. Results: There were a total of 6 798 deliveries and 6 485 live births, with 16 emergency peripartum hysterectomies. The incidence of emergency peripartum hysterectomy was 0.23% of all deliveries (2.3/1 000 deliveries). The causes of emergency hysterectomies were ruptured uterus (11 patients or 69%), placenta accreta/morbidly adherent placenta (4 patients or 25%) and uncontrollable postpartum haemorrhage following vaginal delivery (1 patient or 6%). Eight patients had subtotal hysterectomy, while eight had total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH). All the patients received general anaesthesia and blood transfusion. There were two postoperative admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) and two procedure-related deaths due to hypovolaemic shock. There were nine stillbirths but no documented neonatal deaths. Conclusion: Emergency peripartum hysterectomies challenge the anaesthetist and the obstetrician who have to maintain haemodynamic stability in patients who may have lost volumes of blood, in a setting where blood and colloid availability is often limited. The maternal mortality was higher than that of most of the studies reviewed.

Keywords: anaesthesia; peripartum hysterectomy; West Africa; Nigeria


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2220-1173
print ISSN: 2220-1181