Maternal Mortality from Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy in Rivers State of Nigeria: Analysis of 38 Autopsies performed in 12 years

  • D Seleye-Fubara Department of Anatomical Pathology, University of Port Harcourt
  • SA Uzoigwe Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Port Harcourt
Keywords: Ectopic pregnancy, Deaths, Autopsy, Rivers State


In a period of twelve years (1 January 1990 to 31 December 2001), one thousand, two hundred and twenty five (1225) autopsies were performed in the Anatomical Pathology department of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, (UPTH) Port Harcourt. Of this number, thirty eight (38) 3.1% were due to ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

Most of the deaths 27(71.0%) occurred from cases brought from the rural areas of the state while 11(29.0%) were from the urban area of the Port Harcourt metropolis. Age group 20-30 years was the most vulnerable. With regards to parity, those of 1 and 2 were mostly affected and the major clinical presentations were lower abdominal pains, fainting/dizziness and amenorrhoea 31(81.6%).

Police investigation and autopsy should be mandatory in all cases of ‘mysterious' deaths in women of reproductive age. In addition, health care deliveries should be extended to the rural dwellers as it is in the urban centers.

(Key Words: Ectopic pregnancy, Deaths, Autopsy, Rivers State)

Sahel Medical Journal Vol.6(4) 2003: 108-111

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eISSN: 1118-8561