Risk Factors for Birth Asphyxia in an Urban Health Facility in Cameroon

Andreas CHIABI, Seraphin NGUEFACK, Evelyne MAH, Sostenne NODEM, Lawrence MBUAGBAW, Elie MBONDA, Pierre-Fernand TCHOKOTEU, Anderson DOH



How to Cite This Article: Chiabi A, Nguefack S, Mah E, Nodem S, Mbuagbaw L, Mbonda E, Tchokoteu PF, Doh A. Risk Factors for Birth Asphyxia in an Urban Health Facility in Cameroon. Iran J Child Neurol. 2013 Summer; 7(3):46-54.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4 million children are born with asphyxia every year, of which 1 million die and an equal number survive with severe neurologic sequelae. The purpose of this study was to identify the risk factors of birth asphyxia and the hospital outcome of affected neonates.

Materials & Methods
This study was a prospective case-control study on term neonates in a tertiary hospital in Yaounde, with an Apgar score of < 7 at the 5th minute as the case group, that were matched with neonates with an Apgar score of ≥ 7 at the 5th minute as control group. Statistical analysis of relevant variables of the mother and neonates was carried out to determine the significant risk factors.

The prevalence of neonatal asphyxia was 80.5 per 1000 live births. Statistically significant risk factors were the single matrimonial status, place of antenatal visits, malaria, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, prolonged labor, arrest of labour,
prolonged rupture of membranes, and non-cephalic presentation. Hospital mortality was 6.7%, that 12.2% of them had neurologic deficits and/or abnormal transfontanellar ultrasound/electroencephalogram on discharge, and 81.1% had
a satisfactory outcome.

The incidence of birth asphyxia in this study was 80.5% per1000 live birth with a mortality of 6.7%. Antepartum risk factors were: place of antenatal visit, malaria during pregnancy, and preeclampsia/eclampsia. Whereas prolonged labor, stationary labor, and term prolonged rupture of membranes were intrapartum risk faktors. Preventive measures during prenatal  visits through informing and communicating with pregnant women should be reinforced.


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Birth asphyxia; Neonates; Hospital outcome; Cameroon

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/ijcn.v7i3.3473


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