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OC Ezechi, P Mabayoje, LO Obiesie
Correspondence: Dr Oliver C Ezechi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Rupture of the gravid uterus is a grave obstetric complication that is associated with high maternal and perinatal mortality rates. In Nigeria, the incidence remains high and continue to increase because of poverty, illiteracy, unavailability of manpower, poor supply of medical equipment and consumables, and dwindling health care funding.
Methods A 10-year retrospective review of all cases of ruptured uterus seen at the Obafemi Awolowo University teaching hospital complex in Ile Ife, Nigeria was conducted.
Results A total of 61 cases of ruptured uterus from 16,683 deliveries were recorded, giving a ratio of 1 in 273. Predisposing or aetiological factors for rupture were: prolonged labour (91.8 percent), grand multiparity (50.8 percent), injudicious use of oxytocin (41.0 percent), uterine scar (26.2 percent), obstetric manipulation (4.9 percent) and abnormal lie (14.8 percent). Fifty-six patients had surgery, of which 14 (25.0 percent) had total abdominal hysterectomy, 16 (28.6 percent) had subtotal hysterectomy, 15 (26.8 percent) had repair of the rupture and bilateral tubal ligation, and 13 (19.6 percent) had repair only. Thirteen maternal deaths occurred with a case fatality rate of 21.3 percent.
Conclusion Ruptured uterus remains a problem in Nigeria, with primary health centres and mission houses being identified as major contributors to this condition. They primarily failed in the recognition of abnormalities in the antepartum and/or intrapartum periods, with delays in referral and the injudicious use of oxytocin.
Keywords: grandmultipara, injudicious use of oxytocin, maternal mortality, prolonged labour, ruptured uterus
Singapore Med J 2004; 45(3): 113-116