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HomeNEWSNigerian doctor finds solution to excessive bleeding in childbirth

Nigerian doctor finds solution to excessive bleeding in childbirth

A Nigerian medical doctor, Chidi Esike, of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA), Ebonyi State, has found a new way of saving women who have uncontrollable life-threatening bleeding after birthing their babies from death.

The final treatment to keep such women alive before now was to remove the wombs of such women. But the new technique developed by Esike, called Esike’s Technique, preserves the womb, in addition to effectively stopping the bleeding.

According to the National Demographic and Health Survey, NDHS 2018, the lifetime risk of maternal death indicates that one in 34 women in Nigeria will have a death related to maternal causes, while the maternal mortality ratio is estimated at 512 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Target 3.1 is to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

The new method was published in the most recent edition of the highly respected Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the official journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, volume 136, number 3, of August 2020.

Esike, a consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist from Isuikwuato in Abia State, works at AE-FUTHA and also lectures at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.

He developed the technique in 2009 at the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH), Abakaliki.

Between 2009 and 2018, the technique had been used to treat life-threatening conditions in 18 women who bled uncontrollably after delivering their babies before the bleeding was successfully stopped with the technique in 16 of the women with the preservation of their wombs. This gives the technique 89 per cent success rate in stopping uncontrollable bleeding in women after delivery and preserving their wombs.

Daily Sun learnt that at the point when Esike’s technique was used in the women, the only option left to control their bleeding was the removal of their wombs, which is called hysterectomy in medicine. What this meant was that, if the Esike’s technique were not used on them, all 16 women would have lost their wombs, even if the bleeding was successfully stopped.

Uncontrollable bleeding in women after childbirth is a pregnancy-related killer of women all over the world, but the situation is worse in poor, developing countries like Nigeria with weak health infrastructure and other factors.

It is estimated that, every year, at least 14 million women around the world suffer from excessive bleeding after childbirth. The World Health Organisation estimates that 60 per cent of death of mothers during pregnancy in developing countries is due to excessive bleeding after birth (postpartum haemorrhage, PPH, for short) and this accounts for more than 100,000 maternal deaths (death of mothers) per year. It is estimated that, every four minutes, one woman dies from uncontrolled bleeding after childbirth.

Studies have showed that the rate of excessive bleeding after birth rose from 1.5 per cent in 1999 to 4.1 per cent in 2009. Unfortunately, most of the deaths from excessive bleeding after childbirth (PPH), estimated at 99 per cent of all the PPH, occurs in low and middle-income countries like Nigeria, with only 1 per cent occurring in the industrialized countries.

The Nigerian Medical Association, Ebonyi State chapter, in a goodwill message by its chairman, Ben Umezuruike, and secretary, Chijioke Ogah, applauded Esike on the international recognition of his innovative method of controlling postpartum haemorrhage.

They said: “We are not unaware of the impact the result of this your creative output will bring not only to the medical profession but humanity in general.”

Also, chairman of the Association of Resident Doctors of AE-FUTHA, Dr. Osuagwu Chidubem, said the innovative technique was capable of competing favourably in the international space.

From the United States, Dr. Angela Martin, a maternal-foetal medicine specialist at the University of Kansas Medical Centre, Kansas City, said the technique uses materials “familiar to most surgeons, cheap and typically available even in the most resource-deficient settings.”

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