Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23056633
PLoS ONE 2012;7(10):e47352
OBJECTIVE: In the context of rapid changes regarding practices related to delivery in Africa, we assessed maternal and perinatal adverse outcomes associated with the mode of delivery in 41 referral hospitals of Mali and Senegal.
STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey nested in a randomised cluster trial (1/10/2007-1/10/2008). The associations between intended mode of delivery and (i) in-hospital maternal mortality, (ii) maternal morbidity (transfusion or hysterectomy), (iii) stillbirth or neonatal death before Day 1 and (iv) neonatal death between 24 hours after birth and hospital discharge were examined. We excluded women with immediate life threatening maternal or fetal complication to avoid indication bias. The analyses were performed using hierarchical logistic mixed models with random intercept and were adjusted for women’s, newborn’s and hospitals’ characteristics.
RESULTS: Among the 78,166 included women, 2.2% had a pre-labor cesarean section (CS) and 97.8% had a trial of labor. Among women with a trial of labor, 87.5% delivered vaginally and 12.5% had intrapartum CS. Pre-labor CS was associated with a marked reduction in the risk of stillbirth or neonatal death before Day 1 as compared with trial of labor (OR = 0.2 [0.16-0.36]), though we did not show that maternal mortality (OR = 0.3 [0.07-1.32]) and neonatal mortality after Day 1 (OR = 1.3 (0.66-2.72]) differed significantly between groups. Among women with trial of labor, intrapartum CS and operative vaginal delivery were associated with higher risks of maternal mortality and morbidity, and neonatal mortality after Day 1, as compared with spontaneous vaginal delivery.
CONCLUSIONS: In referral hospitals of Mali and Senegal, pre-labor CS is a safe procedure although intrapartum CS and operative vaginal delivery are associated with increased risks in mothers and infants. Further research is needed to determine what aspects of obstetric care contribute to a delay in the provision of intrapartum interventions so that practices may be made safer when they are needed.