Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Stillbirths and very low Apgar scores among vaginal births in a tertiary hospital in Ghana: a retrospective cross-sectional analysis

Edward Tieru Dassah12*, Alexander Tawiah Odoi12 and Baafuor Kofi Opoku12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

2 School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:289  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-289

Published: 28 August 2014

Abstract

Background

Data pertaining to risk factors associated with stillbirths and very low Apgar scores is very sparse. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of, and examine the socio-demographic and obstetric factors associated with stillbirths and very low Apgar scores among vaginal births in a tertiary health facility, Ghana.

Methods

A retrospective cross-sectional review of vaginal deliveries conducted at a teaching hospital in Ghana from 1st January to 31st December, 2009. Background characteristics and obstetric history of the mother as well as the vital status of the baby at birth were extracted. Risk factors associated with stillbirths and very low Apgar scores were examined using binomial regression with a log-link function, and population attributable fractions calculated for significant risk factors.

Results

Of the 8,758 deliveries which met the inclusion criteria, 5.9% of the babies were stillbirths, and 6.5% and 1.9% of live births had very low Apgar scores in the first and fifth minutes respectively. Preterm delivery, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, breech delivery and vacuum extraction were significant risk factors for stillbirths and very low Apgar scores in the fifth minute of life. Low birth weight was also a significant risk factor for very low Apgar scores.

Conclusion

The prevalence of stillbirths and very low Apgar scores were high. Improving the quality of obstetric care during labour and delivery may help improve these adverse vaginal birth outcomes.

Keywords:
Stillbirth; Apgar score; Vaginal delivery; Ghana