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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-24

A 4-year retrospective review of stillbirths at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Southeast Nigeria

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Anthony T Agbata
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 102, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajmhs.ajmhs_82_16

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Objective: Stillbirth is one of the most common adverse outcomes of pregnancy, yet among the least studied. The objective of this study was to estimate stillbirth rate and describe maternal and obstetric characteristics of stillbirths at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State, southeast Nigeria. Material and Methods: This was a 4-year review of stillbirths at the FETHA, from January 2012 to December 2015. All stillbirth folders were retrieved and relevant information entered in a proforma designed for the study. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 24.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Stillbirth rate was calculated as a proportion of total births. Results were presented as mean ± standard deviation, rates, and percentages/proportions. Results: A stillbirth rate of 41.4 was calculated for this study. The mean age for stillbirth was 28.8 years ± 5.4 (range 17–45 years). The median parity was 3, with a range of 0 to 13. About 68.8% or 276/401 of the women were unbooked. Among women who had stillbirths, only about 14% had tertiary education. Women of low social class constituted the greatest percentage (73.5%) who experienced stillbirth. The proportion of male stillbirths was higher than female stillbirth (54.1% or 216/392). About 58.4% or (230/394) of the stillbirths turned out to be macerated. In about 22.4% of cases, the immediate complication leading to stillbirth was not indicated. None of the stillbirths had autopsy performed. Conclusion: The stillbirth rate of 41.4 per 1000 observed at the study center was high. This reflects the overall picture in developing countries. A major finding from the study is the absence of postmortem examination to determine cause of stillbirth. This may be a major challenge in the effort to reduce stillbirth rate in resource-poor setting like ours.

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