Risk factors for mortality in neonatal seizure in a Nigerian newborn unit

  • Tinuade Ogunlesi
  • Folashade Adekanmbi
  • Bolanle Fetuga
  • Olusoga Ogunfowora
  • Mojisola Ogundeyi


Objective. To determine the risk factors for mortality in neonatal seizures.
Methods and design. A prospective study of consecutive newborn babies with seizures admitted to a Nigerian hospital between January and December 2006. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the risk factors for mortality among consecutive neonates admitted with seizures.
Results. Seventy-eight babies were studied. Thirty-six of these (46.1%) had seizures within the first 24 hours of life. The mean age at onset of seizure was 85.4 ± 106.1 hours. The leading aetiologies included hypocalcaemia (65.4%), hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) (60.3%) and hypoglycaemia (50.0%). Severe anaemia occurred in 56.4% of babies. Most (85.9%) had multiple aetiologies while no aetiology was identified in 5.1%.The mortality rate was 43.6%. Significant risk factors for mortality included duration of seizure longer than 24 hours (p = 0.019), hypoglycaemia (p = 0.001) and severe anaemia (p = 0.004). The co-existence of HIE with hypoglycaemia and hypocalcaemia was also more significantly associated with mortality (p = 0.03) than each of hypoglycaemia and hypocalcaemia co-existing with HIE separately.
Conclusion. The prevention of fatal neonatal seizures should start with good intrapartum care, prompt detection and correction of hypoglycaemia and anaemia and early control of seizures.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032