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1.  Caesarean section without medical indications is associated with an increased risk of adverse short-term maternal outcomes: the 2004-2008 WHO Global Survey on Maternal and Perinatal Health 
BMC Medicine  2010;8:71.
There is worldwide debate about the appropriateness of caesarean sections performed without medical indications. In this analysis, we aim to further investigate the relationship between caesarean section without medical indication and severe maternal outcomes.
This is a multicountry, facility-based survey that used a stratified multistage cluster sampling design to obtain a sample of countries and health institutions worldwide. A total of 24 countries and 373 health facilities participated in this study. Data collection took place during 2004 and 2005 in Africa and the Americas and during 2007 and 2008 in Asia. All women giving birth at the facility during the study period were included and had their medical records reviewed before discharge from the hospital. Univariate and multilevel analysis were performed to study the association between each group's mode of delivery and the severe maternal and perinatal outcome.
A total of 286,565 deliveries were analysed. The overall caesarean section rate was 25.7% and a total of 1.0 percent of all deliveries were caesarean sections without medical indications, either due to maternal request or in the absence of other recorded indications. Compared to spontaneous vaginal delivery, all other modes of delivery presented an association with the increased risk of death, admission to ICU, blood transfusion and hysterectomy, including antepartum caesarean section without medical indications (Adjusted Odds Ratio (Adj OR), 5.93, 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI), 3.88 to 9.05) and intrapartum caesarean section without medical indications (Adj OR, 14.29, 95% CI, 10.91 to 18.72). In addition, this association is stronger in Africa, compared to Asia and Latin America.
Caesarean sections were associated with an intrinsic risk of increased severe maternal outcomes. We conclude that caesarean sections should be performed when a clear benefit is anticipated, a benefit that might compensate for the higher costs and additional risks associated with this operation.
PMCID: PMC2993644  PMID: 21067593
2.  Appropriate criteria for identification of near-miss maternal morbidity in tertiary care facilities: A cross sectional study 
The study of severe maternal morbidity survivors (near miss) may be an alternative or a complement to the study of maternal death events as a health care indicator. However, there is still controversy regarding the criteria for identification of near-miss maternal morbidity. This study aimed to characterize the near miss maternal morbidity according to different sets of criteria.
A descriptive study in a tertiary center including 2,929 women who delivered there between July 2003 and June 2004. Possible cases of near miss were daily screened by checking different sets of criteria proposed elsewhere. The main outcome measures were: rate of near miss and its primary determinant factors, criteria for its identification, total hospital stay, ICU stay, and number and kind of special procedures performed.
There were two maternal deaths and 124 cases of near miss were identified, with 102 of them admitted to the ICU (80.9%). Among the 126 special procedures performed, the most frequent were central venous access, echocardiography and invasive mechanical ventilation. The mean hospital stay was 10.3 (± 13.24) days. Hospital stay and the number of special procedures performed were significantly higher when the organ dysfunction based criteria were applied.
The adoption of a two level screening strategy may lead to the development of a consistent severe maternal morbidity surveillance system but further research is needed before worldwide near miss criteria can be assumed.
PMCID: PMC2014760  PMID: 17848189

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