• Vol. 42 No. 8, 408–412
  • 15 August 2013

Why We Do Caesars: A Comparison of the Trends in Caesarean Section Delivery over a Decade

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ABSTRACT

Introduction: In the United Kingdom, caesarean section (CS) rates have increased from 9% of deliveries in 1980 to 21% in 2001. A similar increase in CS rates has been seen in many developed countries. This is beyond the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) recommended level of 15%. This is a worrying trend as the risks of placenta previa, placenta accreta, hysterectomies, bladder and bowel injuries are increased with subsequent CS. We aim to ascertain the commonest indications for CS in a tertiary hospital and make recommendations to decrease future CS rates.

Materials and Methods: This retrospective analysis compares the 5 most common indications for CS in 1999 and 2009. CS rates in the 2 study periods are tabulated and analysed as well.

Results: In the first study period between January and December 1999, there were 2048 deliveries of which 365 were via CS. In the second study period of a decade later from January to December 2009, there were 1572 deliveries of which 531 were via CS. This gives an increase in CS rate from 17.8% in 1999 to 34% in 2009. The main indications for CS in 1999 were: cephalopelvic disproportion (18.6%), breech (14.2%), non-reassuring fetal status (11.8%), 1 previous CS (11.2%) and pregnancy-induced hypertension/pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (6.6%). The main indications for CS in 2009 were: 1 previous CS (18.1%), non-reassuring fetal status (12.2%), cephalopelvic disproportion (10.5%), 2 or more previous CS (7.9%) and breech (7.7%).

Conclusion: There is a significant increase in CS rates over the last decade with an increased percentage of CS done because of a previous CS. This is associated with increased risk of complications as well. Recommendations are suggested with the view to decrease future CS rates.


Increasing rates of caesarean deliveries have received widespread attention in recent years with increased awareness in the public domain. In the United Kingdom, caesarean section (CS) rates have increased from 9% of deliveries in 1980 to 21% in 2001. A similar increase in CS rates has been seen in many developed countries. This is beyond the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) recommended level of 15%.

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