Caesarean birth may double illness or death risk for mother and baby

November 14th, 2007 - 8:08 am ICT by admin  
However, the prospective study for evaluating maternal and neonatal individual risks and benefits associated with caesarean delivery found that it prevented deaths in breech born babies.

In the study, the researchers randomly selected 120 health facilities, which provided data on 97,307 deliveries of babies during the three-month study period.

After analysing 97,307 cases for comparing the risks and benefits of caesarean delivery and vaginal delivery, it was found that 33.7 percent were caesarean births and 66.3 percent were vaginal births.

Researchers also found that a woman having a caesarean delivery had twice the risk of illness and mortality, including- death, hysterectomy, blood transfusion and admission to intensive care, than a woman having a vaginal delivery.

The study found that there was a five times higher risk of having to have antibiotic treatment after birth for women who had a caesarean delivery, whether chosen by the woman or her clinicians, than those who had a vaginal delivery.

After a caesarean delivery the risk of having to stay in a neonatal intensive care unit for newborn babies who were born head-first doubled when compared to a vaginal birth.

The authors reported that the risk of neonatal death was also significantly increased, i.e. more than 70 percent higher, up to hospital discharge for babies who were born head first from both an elective and a clinician chosen caesarean delivery, as compared to a vaginal delivery.

However, in cases of breech born babies and reduced overall risks in those cases, caesarean delivery had a large protective effect in preventing foetal deaths.

The authors concluded that there were no net benefits from the use of caesarean delivery on maternal and neonatal outcomes.

“There are no net benefits from the very liberal use of caesarean delivery on maternal and neonatal outcomes, both at the institutional or individual level, and it can do harm. The exceptions are fewer postpartum severe vaginal complications, and better foetal outcomes among breech presentations,” the British Medical Journal quoted the authors, as saying.

The study is published in the British Medical Journal. (ANI)

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