Journal Article

A Descriptive Study of Perinatal Asphyxia at the University Hospital of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic Of Congo)

Thérèse Biselele, Gunnar Naulaers, Paulo Bunga Muntu, Emmanuel Nkidiaka, Marie Kapepela, Laetitia Mavinga and Bruno Tady

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 59, issue 4, pages 274-279
Published in print August 2013 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online March 2013 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
A Descriptive Study of Perinatal Asphyxia at the University Hospital of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic Of Congo)

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Background: Perinatal asphyxia is the third cause of neonatal death after prematurity and infection.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence, the etiology and the HIE score at the first day in term and near-term newborns with perinatal asphyxia at the University Hospital of Kinshasa.

Methods: 50 term and near-term neonates with perinatal asphyxia were studied prospectively after they were admitted in neonatal intensive care from November 2009 to January 2011. For each patient admitted the perinatal data were collected. Clinical assessment was performed by the Sarnat grading and the Thompson score within twenty-four hours. Medcalc® was used for statistics.

Results: 50 babies were scored. The median maternal age was 31 years. In 22% of the mothers preeclampsia was diagnosed. Urogenital infection, IUGR were other prenatal diagnoses. Median Apgar score was 4 after 1 minute, 5 after 5 minutes and 6 after 10 minutes. Sarnat grade 1 was seen in 16 patients, Sarnat grade 2 in 20 patients and grade 3 in 8. Thompson score in the first 24 hours was more than 7 in 60% of the patients. A good correlation was found between the Thompson score and the Sarnat grade (r: 0,77; p < 0,0001). 14 of the 50 babies died. Both Sarnat and Thompson score correlated significantly with mortality.

Conclusion: The incidence of perinatal asphyxia at the University Hospital of Kinshasa remains high and the majority of patients had a severe HIE.

Keywords: perinatal asphyxia; hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; Congo; neonate

Journal Article.  3339 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Paediatrics

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