Obstructed labour: a public health problem in Gombe, Gombe State, Nigeria

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Jul;23(4):369-73. doi: 10.1080/01443610310001119510.


This study reviewed retrospectively the cases of obstructed labour as seen at the specialist Gombe Hospital (SHG), Gombe State, over a period of 5 years. The incidence of obstructed labour was 4.0%. There was a progressive decline in the time trend over the study period. About 80.3% of the patients were unbooked emergencies and 99.5% of them had been in labour elsewhere before presenting at the hospital. The leading cause of obstructed labour was cephalopelvic disproportion (83.0%). Caesarean section (72.2%) was the most common method of delivery. Puerperal sepsis was the most frequent morbidity. However, the longest duration of hospital stay was as a result of a bedsore. The maternal mortality for cases of obstructed labour was 7605/100,000 and the perinatal mortality was 628/1000 births. The study aims to reinstate public interest in this health problem and offers suggestions on how to curb this human tragedy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Fetal Macrosomia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Labor Presentation
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy