Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Maternal Deaths Following Cesarean Delivery Can Be Reduced

Date:
August 5, 2008
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Maternal death rates have remained constant in the United States for many decades. Are there any improvements in health care that could reduce these rates further? A new study examined all maternal deaths in nearly 1.5 million birth records from the last six years to look for possible keys to saving more mothers. The study demonstrated that the risk of death attributable to cesarean delivery, approximately 2/100,000 procedures, can realistically be reduced only with universal thromboembolism prophylaxis for patients delivered by cesarean.

Maternal death rates have remained constant in the United States for many decades. Are there any improvements in health care that could reduce these rates further?

In a study published in the July 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers examined all maternal deaths in nearly 1.5 million birth records from the last 6 years to look for possible keys to saving more mothers. The study demonstrated that the risk of death attributable to cesarean delivery, approximately 2/100,000 procedures, can realistically be reduced only with universal thromboembolism prophylaxis for patients delivered by cesarean.

The study identified 95 maternal deaths among 1,461,270 births (6.5/100,000 births). Leading causes of death were complications of preeclampsia, amniotic fluid embolism, obstetric hemorrhage, cardiac disease, and pulmonary thromboembolism.

The risk of death causally related to cesarean delivery is approximately 2/100,000 cesareans vs 0.2/100,000 deaths caused by vaginal birth. This statistically significant difference (P<.001) translates into approximately 20 US deaths caused by cesarean delivery annually.

Nine patients died from pulmonary thromboembolism, 7 after cesarean delivery and 2 after vaginal birth. None had received peripartum thromboembolism prophylaxis in the form of either fractionated or unfractionated heparin or pneumatic compression devices.

Writing in the article, Steven L. Clark, MD, Medical Director of the Women and Newborns Clinical Program, Hospital Corporation of America, states, "In nearly every population of adult surgical patients, either medical or mechanical thromboprophylaxis reduces venous thromboembolism by approximately 70%...If one assumes similar efficacy in pregnant women, 5 of the 7 deaths from pulmonary embolism in women undergoing cesarean delivery would have been prevented if a policy of universal use of medical or mechanical thromboprophylaxis for patients undergoing cesarean had been in place. Such a policy would reduce the mortality rate attributed causally to cesarean delivery to 0.9/100,000, or approximately 9 US deaths annually, eliminating the statistical difference in deaths attributed to cesarean vs. vaginal birth." Dr. Clark notes that the Hospital Corporation of American has instituted such a policy to improved patient safety throughout their system, the largest in the United States.

Dr. Clark continues, "It seems clear that the majority of maternal deaths in the United States are not preventable. The most common preventable errors in preeclampsia management leading to maternal death involved inattention to blood pressure control and signs or symptoms of pulmonary edema; those involving postpartum hemorrhage deaths were related to inadequate surgical hemostasis. In all these cases, more prompt attention to clinical signs of hemorrhage and associated hypovolemia would also have prevented death."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Steven Clark, MD; Michael Belfort, MD; Gary Dildy, MD; Melissa Herbst, MD; Janet A. Meyers, RN; and Gary Hankins, MD. Maternal Death in the 21st Century: Causes, Prevention and Relationship to Cesarean Delivery. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Volume 199, Issue 1 (July 2008)

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Maternal Deaths Following Cesarean Delivery Can Be Reduced." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100256.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2008, August 5). Maternal Deaths Following Cesarean Delivery Can Be Reduced. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100256.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Maternal Deaths Following Cesarean Delivery Can Be Reduced." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804100256.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins