Exploring the pattern of complications of induced abortion in a rural mission tertiary hospital in the Niger Delta, Nigeria

Trop Doct. 2008 Jul;38(3):146-8. doi: 10.1258/td.2007.070096.


Unsafe abortion remains a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in developing countries including Nigeria. We report a 10-year descriptive review of 118 consecutive cases of complicated induced abortions. At our centre, complications of induced abortion constituted 2.3% of maternal admissions, 5.6% of gynaecological admissions and 22.6% of maternal deaths. Fifty-nine percent of the women were married and the mean age was 25.6 +/- 7.9 years. Doctors performed 51.7% of the induced abortion and nurses performed 13.9%. Of the mortalities, medical doctors did 61 of the abortions in which 18 died (29.5%); traditional medical practitioners were responsible for 13 of the abortions in which two died (15.4%); of the 16 abortions performed by nurses, two died (12.5%). Sepsis was the most common cause of death (73%). There is an urgent need to improve the knowledge and utilization of modern contraception by rural women in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Doctors need to be continuously trained inn the basic principles of postabortion care.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects*
  • Abortion, Induced / methods
  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Rural / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Marital Status
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted
  • Religious Missions / statistics & numerical data
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / etiology*