Incidence of Birth Asphyxia as Seen in Central Hospital and GN Children’s Clinic both in Warri Niger Delta of Nigeria: An Eight Year Retrospective Review

  •  G. I. Ugwu    
  •  H. O. Abedi    
  •  E. N. Ugwu    


Background: Birth asphyxia is one of the commonest causes of neonatal morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Together with prematurity and neonatal sepsis, they account for over 80% of neonatal deaths.Aim: To determine the incidence and mortality rate of birth asphyxia in Warri Niger Delta of Nigeria. Materials and Method: Recovery of case notes of all the newborn babies seen from January 2000 to December 2007 at Central Hospital Warri and GN children’s Clinic, Warri, was undertaken. They were analyzed and those with birth asphyxia were further analyzed, noting the causes, severity of asphyxia, sex of the babies, management given. Results: A total of 864 out of 26,000 neonates seen within this period had birth asphyxia. 525 (28/1000 live births) had mild asphyxia while 32% were severely asphyxiated. 61.5% of the asphyxiated were born at maternities, churches or delivered by traditional birth attendants or at home. Prolonged labour was the commonest cause of asphyxia and asphyxia was more in neonates from unbooked patients. Conclusion: The incidence of bith asphyxia in Warri is 28/1000. Majority of patients are from prolonged labour and delivery at unrecognized centres. Health education will dratically reduce the burden of asphyxia neanatorum as unsubtanciated religous beliefs have done a great havoc.

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