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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 139-143

Gestational thrombocytopaenia among pregnant women in Lagos, Nigeria

1 Department of Haematology, Ben Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ogun, Nigeria
2 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Nigeria
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Lagos State University, College of Medicine, Ikeja, Nigeria
4 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Sarah Oluwatayo Ajibola
Department of Haematology, Ben Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ogun
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0300-1652.129647

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Background: Thrombocytopaenia is a common haematologic abnormality during pregnancy. Pregnant women with thrombocytopenia have a higher risk of bleeding excessively during or after childbirth, particularly if they need to have a caesarean section or other surgical intervention during pregnancy, labour or in the puperium. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of gestational thrombocytopaenia among pregnant women reporting for antenatal care at tertiary health care centres in Lagos. Materials and Methods: Platelet count was analyzed in 274 consecutive pregnant women who gave informed consent and 70 non-pregnant female staff of the hospitals. Platelet count was performed on each sample using the Sysmex KN-21N automated haematology analyzer. The study design was cross-sectional, proportions were analyzed for statistical significance with the chi-square, and Odds ratio was also calculated. Thrombocytopaenia is classically defined as a platelet count of less than 150 × 10 [9] /L. [3],[4] Counts from 100 to 150 × 10 [9] /L are considered mildly depressed, 50 to 100 × 10 [9] /L are moderately depressed and less than 50 × 10 [9] /L are severely depressed. Results: Thirty-four (13.5%) pregnant women were thrombocytopaenic compared with three (4.3%) non-pregnant women. This was statistically significant; P = 0.03; Odds ratio: 3.5 (95% CI 1.03-11.82). Out of the 37 pregnant women who were thrombocytopaenic, most of them (78%) had mild thrombocytopenia, only 6% had severe thrombocytopaenia. Conclusion: The prevalence of gestational thrombocytopaenia in this study was 13.5%. Although majority of the pregnant women had mild thrombocytopaenia, healthcare providers should screen all pregnant women routinely for thrombocytopaenia to avoid excessive bleeding during or after childbirth.

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