Background: Preeclampsia and eclampsia are important causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. They represent the 3rd leading cause of maternal deaths following postpartum haemorrhage and infections. With the onset of convulsions, maternal and perinatal outcome worsens.
Objectives: This study aims to compare the clinical features, management and outcome among patients with preeclampsia and eclampsia at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
Methodology: This is a retrospective comparative study of patients managed for preeclampsia versus eclampsia at FETHA from 1st January 2013 through 31st December 2015. Statistical analysis was done using Epi Info 7.2.1.
Result: There were 6585 total deliveries within the period out of which 113 had preeclampsia and 78 had eclampsia giving a prevalence of 17 per 1000 and 12 per 1000 deliveries respectively. There were 4 maternal deaths; all were amongst the patients with eclampsia, giving a case fatality of 5.1%. Majority of the patients were aged between 20-34 years, primigravidae and unbooked, lived in the urban areas and presented at full term. Most had severe proteinuria at presentation, managed with magnesium sulphate alone and had vaginal delivery. Favourable maternal and perinatal outcome was noted in most of the patients. Compared with preeclampsia, eclampsia was significantly likely to be present in the primigravid, unbooked patient and present at full term (p < 0.05). Patients with preeclampsia were more likely to have live birth
It was also likely to be present in patients presenting with severe proteinuria. Poor maternal and perinatal outcome were also significantly higher amongst patients with eclampsia.
Conclusion: The unbooked patient is at significantly increased risk of presenting with eclampsia and suffer adverse maternal and perinatal outcome. There is therefore great need for awareness and education for women, and promotion of antenatal care.