ABSTRACT: To determine the trend and indications for the use of caesarean delivery in our environment.
A retrospective review of the caesarean sections performed at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital from January 2000 to December 2005 inclusive.
During the study period, there were 10,097 deliveries and 1192 caesarean sections giving a caesarean section rate of 11.8%. The major maternal indications were cephalopelvic disproportion (15.5%), previous caesarean section (14.7%), eclampsia (7.2%), failed induction of labor (5.5%), and placenta previa (5.1%). Fetal distress (9.6%), breech presentation (4.7%), fetal macrosomia (4.3%), and pregnancy complicated by multiple fetuses (4.2%) were the major fetal indications. The caesarean section rate showed a steady increase over the years (7.20% in 2000-13.95% in 2005), but yearly analysis of the demographic characteristics, type of caesarean section, and the major indications did not reveal any consistent changes to account for the rising trend except for the increasing frequency of fetal distress as an indication of caesarean section over the years, which was also not statistically significant (c =8.08; P=0.12). The overall perinatal mortality in the study population was found to be 72.7/1000 birth and despite the rising rate of caesarean section, the perinatal outcomes did not improve over the years.
Trial of vaginal birth after caesarean section in appropriate cases and use of cardiotocography for continuous fetal heart rate monitoring in labor with confirmation of suspected fetal distress through fetal blood acid--base study are recommended. A prospective study may reveal some of the other reasons for the increasing caesarean section rate.
Annals of African medicine 8(2):127-32.