Treatment of eclampsia with magnesium sulphate in Aba, South-Eastern

  • Chisara C Umezurike
  • Paul A Feyi-Waboso
  • Robert C Whittaker


Context: Eclampsia is a major contributor to maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. While it has been widely reported that its prognosis can be greatly improved by effective treatment with magnesium sulphate, experience with this drug for the treatment of eclampsia in Nigeria has been scantily reported.

Objective: To determine the effectiveness and safety of magnesium sulphate in the control of eclamptic convulsion and its influence on maternal and perinatal outcome.

Design, Setting and Subjects: A prospective descriptive study carried out at Nigerian Christian Hospital, Aba, Nigeria from 1 January, 2002 to 29 February, 2004. The study group consisted of 40 consecutive cases of eclampsia seen at the maternity unit during the study period. They were given magnesium sulphate as the only anticonvulsant.

Results: The incidence of eclampsia was 1 in 41 deliveries (2.45%). Magnesium sulphate effectively controlled eclamptic convulsions as 87.5% of cases did not have any further fits after commencement of the drug. There was no incidence of severe adverse reactions to the drug. The only complications of magnesium sulphate observed was depression of deep tendon reflexes which occurred in two patients. There was 1{2.5%} maternal death and a high perinatal mortality of 55.26%.

Conclusion: Magnesium sulphate is effective in the control of eclamptic fits and has a good maternal outcome. These findings support the use of magnesium sulphate as the drug of choice for control of convulsions in eclamptic women.

Keywords: eclampsia, magnesium sulphate, South Eastern Nigeria

Tropical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Vol. 23(1) 2006: 20-22

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eISSN: 0189-5117