Ectopic pregnancy: a life-threatening gynecological emergency
Osaheni L Lawani, Okechukwu B Anozie, Paul O Ezeonu
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Nigeria
Background: Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening gynecological emergency, and a significant cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in Nigeria.
Objective: The aim of this work was to determine and evaluate the incidence, clinical presentation, risk factors, and management outcomes of ectopic pregnancies at Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH) in Abakaliki.
Methods: This was a retrospective, descriptive study of ectopic pregnancies managed in EBSUTH during the study period (June 1, 2002 to May 31, 2012). The medical records of the patients managed for ectopic pregnancy as well as the total birth record and gynecological admission records during the period under review were retrieved, and data were collected with the aid of data-entry forms designed for this purpose. There were 4,610 gynecological admissions and 9,828 deliveries, with 215 cases of ectopic pregnancies. A total of 205 cases were suitable for analysis after excluding cases with incomplete records. The relevant data collected were analyzed with SPSS version 15.0 for Windows.
Results: Ectopic pregnancy constituted 4.5% of all gynecological admissions, and its incidence was 2.1%. The mean age of the patients was 27 ± 2 years, 196 of 205 (95.6%) had ruptured ectopic pregnancies, and the remaining nine (4.4%) were unruptured. The commonest (166 of 205, 80.0%) clinical presentation was abdominal pain, and the commonest (105 of 205, 51.2%) identified risk factor was a previous history of induced abortion. Three deaths were recorded, giving a case-fatality rate of 1.4% (three of 205).
Conclusion: Ectopic pregnancy is a recognized cause of maternal morbidity and mortality and has remained a reproductive health challenge to Nigerian women, as well as a threat to efforts in achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goal 5 in sub-Saharan Africa.
Keywords: ectopic, emergency, pregnancy, sub-Saharan, life-threatening
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