Maternal near-miss and death associated with abortive pregnancy outcome: a secondary analysis of the Nigeria Near-miss and Maternal Death Survey

A. I. Adanikin, O. U.J. Umeora, E. Nzeribe, A. T. Agbata, C. Ezeama, F. O. Ezugwu, G. O. Ugwu, J. I. Ikechebelu, O. T. Oladapo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of life-threatening complications related to pregnancies with abortive outcome and the associated health service events and performance in Nigerian public tertiary hospitals. Design: Secondary analysis of a nationwide cross-sectional study. Setting: Forty-two tertiary hospitals. Population: Women admitted for pregnancy-related complications. Methods: All cases of severe maternal outcomes (SMO: maternal near-miss or death) due to abortive pregnancy complications (defined as spontaneous or induced abortion, and ectopic pregnancy) were prospectively identified over 1 year using uniform identification criteria. Main outcome measures: Prevalence of SMO, mortality index (% maternal death/SMO), case fatality rate, time until death after admission, and health service performance. Results: Of 5779 women admitted with abortive pregnancy complications, 444 (7.9%) experienced an SMO: 366 maternal near-misses and 78 maternal deaths. Intra-hospital maternal mortality ratio from complicated abortive pregnancy outcome was 85/100 000 live births. Case fatality rate was worst for abortion-related infections (19.1%). A quarter of maternal deaths occurred on the same day of admission; however, the peak time of occurrence of death was 3–7 days of admission. Women experiencing cardiovascular, renal or coagulation organ dysfunction were less likely to survive. Higher level of maternal education and closer residence to a health facility improved chance of maternal survival. Conclusions: Abortive outcome remains a major contributor to SMO in Nigeria. Although early hospital presentation by women is critical to surviving abortive pregnancy complications, improved, appropriate, and timely management is essential to enhance maternal survival. Tweetable abstract: 78 maternal deaths and 366 near-misses occurred from abortions and ectopic pregnancies in 42 Nigerian referral hospitals in 1 year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue numberS3
Early online date3 May 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Abortion
  • abortive outcome
  • ectopic pregnancy
  • maternal death
  • maternal near-miss
  • severe maternal outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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