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Health News of Thursday, 2 February 2012

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Hypertensive disorders, the women's killers at Ridge Hospital

Accra, Feb.2, GNA - Hypertensive disorders have overtaken haemorrhage(bleeding) as the leading cause of maternal mortality at Ridge Regional Hospital, with one out of every seven deliveries being complicated.

This has been attributed to the fact that pregnant women who developed hypertensive disorders during pregnancies do not take the necessary precautions whilst some had adopted behavioural and lifestyle characteristics, which complicate their conditions.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra on Thursday, Dr Emmanuel Sorofeyno, Director of Clinical Services, Ridge Regional Hospital, said a total of 1,650 cases of hypertensive disorders were recorded in 2011 as against 1,031 recorded cases in 2010.

He noted that pregnant women who developed hypertension during pregnancy always experienced frequent headaches.

“I have seen pregnant women rushed here almost on the verge of death with some in coma and what the people who bring them here say that: Oh! She just complained of headache and now she is like dying”.

He explained that there were three types of high blood pressure in pregnant women. These were chronic hypertension, where high blood pressure developed before the 20th week of pregnancy or was present before the woman became pregnant.

According to him, Gestation Hypertension is the type where some women just get high blood pressure near the end of pregnancy, while the third is Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension (PIH), which condition can cause serious problems for both the mother and the baby if left untreated.

“PIH develops after the 20th week of pregnancy. Along with high blood pressure, it causes protein in the urine, blood changes and other problems.”

With haemorrhage, bleeding during pregnancy may indicate several conditions whilst in early pregnancy it indicates threatened abortion and in later pregnancy, it suggests problems in placentation.

Dr Sorofenyo noted that the gravity of haemorrhage was such that in anaemic women, even a small amount of blood loss could be fatal and called on women who experienced hypertension disorders to adhere to doctor’s advice and attend antenatal frequently.

He noted that there had been a tremendous increase in number of deliveries from 2,000 deliveries in 2004 to 9,357 in 2010.

The hospital in 2007 recorded 6,700 deliveries, 7,500 deliveries in 2008, 8,230 deliveries in 2009 and 8,133 deliveries in 2010.

Dr Sorofenyo attributed the increase in deliveries to the development in infrastructure, human resource and better access to the National Health Insurance Scheme saying, “Our hospital is now becoming a better destination, and clients are now gaining confidence in us”.

He said: “The ambulance service had also improved the referral system. Caesarian Sections (CS) has also seen an increase due to the professional experience of experts. It recorded 45 CS from 2004 to 2,970 in 2010 and 3,361 in 2011.

According to him, a second theatre, which would be operational in March, 2012, would cut down queues for caesarian sections, reduce baby deaths, clients would be more satisfied as the facility would be more user friendly.

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