Daniel Katuashi Ishoso1*, Antoinette Kitoto Tshefu1 , Yves Coppieters2
PLOS ONE | https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203186 August 30, 2018
Due to a lack of relevant data on induced abortions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as the persistence of maternal deaths in the country, this study aims to analyze the extent and characteristics of induced abortion-related complications in women who were admitted to referral health facilities in Kinshasa, including the duration of hospitalization, the mortality rate due to induced abortion complications and their characteristics, and the deaths that occurred after two days of hospitalization.
This is a cross-sectional study on 843 obstetric and gynecological patients who were admitted as emergency cases to five referral health facilities in Kinshasa during 2014. These facilities were selected as being representative of five types of districts in Kinshasa, according to their cultural, socioeconomic, and infrastructural characteristics. Patient data were collected from patient records and analyzed.
From the 843 patients admitted to receive obstetric and gynecological emergency care services in 2014 at the health facilities surveyed, 14.7% (95% CI: 12.4–17.3%) had complications due to induced abortion. These complications were significantly diagnosed in adolescents (p = 0.003) and in single, separated, divorced, or widowed women (p = 0.03). The median duration of hospitalization was nine days, and this period of time was significantly longer for the patients who underwent surgery for pelvic peritonitis due to uterine perforation compared with the patients who underwent Caesarean section/hysterectomy. Furthermore, it was significantly longer for the patients who were treated for other induced-abortion related complications compared with patients treated for spontaneous abortion. The mortality rate related to induced abortions was 5.6% (95% CI: 2.3–11.3%), with an increase in risk of death in the presence of a postabortive pelvic peritonitis-type complication; 42.9% of deaths occurred after two days of hospitalization.
The complications of induced abortions are a major public health problem due to their frequency among patients admitted to Kinshasa’s referral health facilities, their mortality, and their poor medical management. Therefore, there is a need to understand the reason for its poor medical management in order to provide an adequate intervention program.
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