Background: Neonatal intestinal obstruction (NIO) is a common cause of mortality. This study determined the causes of mortality in patients with NIO at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (OAUTHC), Ile Ife.
Patients and methods: Records of all cases of NIO managed at OAUTHC between January 1996 and December 2005 were retrospectively reviewed and the possible factors that may result in mortality were analysed.
Results: Sixty-three neonates with intestinal obstruction were managed, representing 24.3% of the neonatal admissions during the study period. Forty-two were males and 21 were females (M:F = 2:1). The majority (71.4%) of the patients presented within the first week of life. Anorectal malformation constituted 57.1% of the causes of NIO. Other causes included Hirschsprung's disease, duodenal atresia, intestinal malrotation with midgut volvulus and jejunal atresia. There were 18 deaths, with a mortality rate of 28.6%. Reoperation, postoperative bleeding and peroperative sepsis were significant determinants of mortality.
Conclusion: NIO is associated with significant mortality in our centre. Repeat surgery, postoperative bleeding and sepsis were the significant factors that contributed to mortality in NIO.