Syphilis, hypertension pregnancy admissions up; HIV-positive down for 2023
Milton Cato Memorial Hospital
March 1, 2024
Syphilis, hypertension pregnancy admissions up; HIV-positive down for 2023

A local medical official has expressed concern about the “significant increase” in pregnant women being admitted to hospital with hypertension- a condition in which the blood pressure is elevated.

This was one of the primary obstetric and gynaecological concerns coming out of the recently held 28th Annual Perinatal Mortality/Morbidity Conference.

“We had 126 admissions for patients with chronic hypertension, and 132 admissions for patients with gestational hypertension. This will include patients who were admitted on multiple occasions for management of hypertension, however I did notice a significant increase in our admissions for hypertension in the year 2022,” said Obstetrician/Gynaecologist, Dr Sherina Slater.

“In the year 2022 we had 60 patients admitted for chronic hypertension; and in 2022, we had 55 admitted for gestational hypertension, which is a significant increase in admissions for those.”

Dr Slater said for 2023, for hypertensive disease there was a 110 percent in admissions for chronic hypertension, while the data shows a 140 percent increase for gestational hypertension.

She also disclosed that for 2023 there was a rise in syphilis cases.

“… fifteen VDRL-positive, and that was also an increase from 2022 where they had two patients who are syphilis positive. So we have seen an increase in patients who are being diagnosed with syphilis”.

Last year saw a reduction in the number of HIV-positive pregnancies with 14 HIV positive patients in 2022 as compared to nine in 2023.

In terms of maternal deaths, there were two recorded in 2023, while 16 stillbirths occurred. Of this number, four were less than 28 weeks; seven were more than 28 weeks but less than 34 weeks; and five were more than 34 weeks in development.

“Our overall stillbirth rate was 13.6 per 1,000 total births. Our stillbirth rate for greater than 28 weeks was 10.2 per 1,000 total births. Neonatal mortality rate was 22.3 per 1,000 live births. The perinatal mortality rate was 29.7 per 1,000 total births.