Burns in pregnancy: Five-year experience in a tertiary hospital in southeastern Nigeria

Ugochukwu U. Nnadozie1,2*, Charles C Maduba2, Gabriel M. Okorie2, Lucky O. Lawani3, Anikwe
C Chidebe3, Obiora G. K Asiegbu3, Amaechi Ugbala2

  1. Division of Plastic Surgery, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria.
  2. Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery
  3. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Alex Ekwueme University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki
    Correspondence: Ugochukwu Uzodimma Nnadozie.(ugodozie@yahoo.ca)


Burns in pregnancy is often associated with high maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality especially when the total burn surface area (TBSA) involved is high. This study aims to review management outcome of cases of burns in pregnancy at Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA).
A five year retrospective study of all pregnant women that presented at AE-FUTHA with burn injury between April 2014 and March 2019. Information was collected from the medical records using a proforma and analyzed with IBM SPSS Statistics version 20.0 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY, USA) using descriptive statistics.
A total of 222 cases of burns were managed but only 8 were pregnant, giving an incidence of 3.6%. The commonest causes were flame (62.5%), scald (25%) and friction (12.5%) occurring mostly during the harmattan season. The median age of participants was 25-34 years. The burns affected 12.5% of the patients in the first trimester and 62.5% and 25% in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters respectively. Most patients (62.5%) had superficial burns while 25% had other associated injuries in addition to burns. About 87.5% had term spontaneous vaginal delivery. There was no maternal death but, there was an early neonatal death.
The good outcome observed in this study with a 100% survival, could be explained by inter-disciplinary management approach given, even as most cases were minor degrees of burns. Early involvement of obstetricians in all burns affecting pregnant women is advised especially in burn centres where obstetricians are hardly in the employ.
Keywords: Burns in pregnancy; maternal outcome; multi-disciplinary management; Nigeria;

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