Author(s): Onuh SO, Aisien AO
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Abstract Eclampsia is a well-recognised major cause of maternal death and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The incidence of eclampsia, its presentation patterns, maternal and perinatal outcomes were investigated in a retrospective study conducted at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria over an 8-year period, 1995 - 2002. There were 103 cases of eclampsia of 7835 deliveries, giving an incidence of one in 76 (1.32\%). The mean age of the women was 27.1 +/- 5.6 years. Eclampsia significantly (P < 0.001) occurred in nulliparous and unbooked mothers. Eighty-nine (86.4\%) of the patients developed fits in the predelivery stage; 85 (83\%) of the patients had at least one premonitory symptom including headache (82.4\%) visual disturbance (10.6\%) and epigastric pain (7\%). There were nine stillbirths and 16 early neonatal deaths for a perinatal mortality rate of 214/1000. The major causes of perinatal mortality were prematurity and birth asphyxia. Eleven maternal deaths occurred with a maternal case fatality rate of 10.7\% and a maternal mortality ratio from eclampsia of 140/100 000. The clinical causes of deaths were cardiopulmonary failure, acute renal failure, haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count (HELLP) syndrome and cerebrovascular accident. Timely referral of high-risk patients coupled with availability of emergency obstetric and neonatal care services would reduce the incidence eclampsia associated mortality and morbidity in our facility.
This article was published in J Obstet Gynaecol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy