Table of Contents
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2012, Article ID 430265, 6 pages
Research Article

Study of Electrolyte Changes in Patients with Prolonged Labour in Ikot Ekpene, a Rural Community in Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Cross River State, Calabar, Nigeria
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom State, Uyo, Nigeria
3Department of laboratory Sciences, General Hospital Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria

Received 8 October 2012; Accepted 8 November 2012

Academic Editors: C. Mundhenke and S. Palomba

Copyright © 2012 E. I. Ekanem et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Prolonged obstructed labour is a major cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality especially in the developing countries of the world, where the incidence is high. These complications are partly attributed to the metabolic and electrolyte derangements that are often associated with this problem. It is, therefore, important to evaluate the metabolic and electrolyte changes of these patients in a rural community in a developing country. Objective. To compare the electrolyte changes, maternal, and perinatal outcomes in patients with prolonged obstructed labour with that of normal labour in General Hospital Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Patients and Methods. This is a prospective cross-sectional case control study conducted in the Labour Ward of the General Hospital Ikot Ekpene to compare the electrolyte levels and perinatal outcome of 95 pregnant women who had prolonged labour with 105 women who had normal labour within the same period. Main Outcome Measures. Electrolyte changes, ketonuria, maternal complications, and perinatal outcome. Results. The majority of women with prolonged labour (91.6%) had major surgical interventions requiring anaesthesia. Perinatal death occurred in 12.6%, and a major life-threatening maternal complications (including two deaths) occurred in 13.7% of those with prolonged labour compared to 2.9% (with no death) in those with normal labour. Significant abnormal electrolyte changes included hyperkalemia, high urea, and creatinine as well as low bicarbonate levels were recorded. Metabolic abnormality was shown by ketonuria in 91.1% of the patients compared to 1.9% in women with normal labour. Conclusion. Women with prolonged labour in Ikot Ekpene have significant electrolyte and metabolic changes which impact adversely on the maternal and perinatal outcomes of the pregnancy. Effort should be made to correct these electrolyte and metabolic abnormalities during resuscitation of the woman in order to reduce the complications associated with such derangements.