Potter, T.; Fletcher, Horace M.; Vutchkov, Mitko K.; Lalor, Gerald. C.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health
The Mercury Concentration in the Placentae of Parturients at the University Hospital of the West Indies and its Correlation to Known Risk Factors During Pregnancy [Abstract]
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
53 Suppl. 5
Objective: To determine the concentration of mercury in the placentae of parturients on the Labour and Delivery Ward at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), and establish its relationship to known risk factors during gestation. Method: This pilot prospective study was conducted on the Labour and Delivery Ward at the UHWI between February and March, 2003. No exclusion criteria were established, and all patients who had deliveries, for the study period, were eligible. Each participant was given a questionnaire to determine her fish consumption habits during gestation, and the source of the fish. She was also questioned as to her use of cough syrup during the pregnancy, as well as to the presence of dental fillings containing amalgam. At the completion of the third stage of labour, approximatley one-eight the volume of the placenta was excised, frozen and stored at -20oC. The frozen placenta sample was then dried, ground, and the concentration of mercury determined by Energy-Despersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXR) spectrometry technique. The spectra were processed, using the Kevex EDX-771 spectrum analysis programme. Statistical analysis was performed using Stata 7.0, with analysis of variance, and the two-sample t test technique for differences between groups, as appropriate for the data. The null hypothess (Ho) stated that there were no differences inplacental mercury concentration and maternal fish conumption, or the use of cough syrup or the presence of dental amalgam. A p valu of < 0.05 or 5% was considered significant.....