Background: Umbilical cord blood analysis may give a clue to the state of health of both pregnant mothers and their neonates. However, there is paucity of literature on some of these indices from our area.
Objectives: This present study determined the red blood indices of maternal and umbilical cord blood in Owerri, Nigeria.
Methods: Pregnant mothers aged 18 - 42 years who booked and received antenatal care until vaginal delivery at the antenatal clinics of two tertiary health care centres in Owerri, Nigeria were divided into five age groups I – V. Maternal blood samples were obtained immediately after delivery of the baby. The umbilical blood samples were collected from the umbilical cord of the baby at the end of the second stage of labour. The haemoglobin (Hb) concentration and packed cell volume (PCV) were determined using standard procedures. The mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) was calculated mathematically.
Results: The result of the cord blood haemoglobin concentration and packed cell volume were significantly higher than the maternal values (14.22 ± 1.25 g/dl versus 11.20 ± 0.92g/d and 42.6 9± 3.80% versus 33.67 ± 2.71% respectively; ( P < 0.0001).However, there was no significant differences between cord blood and maternal mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (33.24 ±0.23% versus 33.29 ± 0.45 % ;P = 0.310). Furthermore, a positive linear Pearson’s correlation was observed between the mean Hb and PCV of cord blood and maternal blood (r=1.11 and r=1.15 respectively <0.0001).
Conclusion: This result provides a baseline data for further studies on establishing a reference value for maternal and umbilical cord packed cell volume and haemoglobin concentration in our locality.