We undertook a six-year retrospective study to determine the pattern of admission and outcome for obstetric patients admitted to the intensive care unit of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu. The hospital records (case notes and intensive care unit records) were used to extract the necessary data. A total of 816 patients were admitted to the intensive care unit during the period under review. Eighteen (2.2%) were obstetric patients. Nine (50%) were preeclamptic and eclamptic patients. Four patients (22.2%) had obstetric haemorrhage. Five others presented with the following: asthma, postoperative respiratory distress, cervical incompetence, gestational diabetes and hypertension, and caesarean section for terminal carcinoma of the breast. There were six deaths (mortality rate 33.3%). Preeclampsia/eclampsia accounted for four deaths (44% mortality rate amongst preeclamptics/eclamptics), while two deaths accounted for a 50% mortality rate in the obstetric haemorrhage group. This study confirmed similar reports from the advanced nations and Asia that preeclampsia/eclampsia and obstetric haemorrhage are the leading causes of admission to the intensive care unit. The mortality rate in this study is however higher.
International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia 08/2004; 13(3):164-6. DOI:10.1016/j.ijoa.2004.04.002