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Collaborative Program Reduces Unnecessary C-Section Rates

Newborn complications also decreased, Canadian researchers report

THURSDAY, April 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Fewer pregnant women had cesarean section births in Canadian hospitals that took part in a C-section review program, a new study reports. The findings were published in the April 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nils Chaillet, Ph.D., an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, and colleagues conducted the study aimed to reduce the rate of C-sections, and involved 32 hospitals throughout Quebec, Canada, and lasting one and a half years. In the hospitals randomly assigned to use the program, a collaborating team of doctors, nurses, and midwives reviewed the reasons for each C-section. Then health professionals received feedback, and the hospitals put in place best practices for when to perform C-sections.

More than 50,000 women delivered each year in the years before and after the intervention. In the year following the program, the rate of C-sections was slightly lower — about 1.8 percent less — in the hospitals with the program. There wasn’t a statistically significant change in the C-section rate for high-risk pregnancies, according to the study. But the C-section rate was reduced 1.7 percent for low-risk pregnancies in hospitals with the intervention. In addition, slightly fewer minor and major complications for the newborns occurred in intervention hospitals compared to those without the program.

“The results suggested that by improving our knowledge about prenatal care programs and effectiveness, we can help reduce the rate of cesarean sections and not-medically-necessary procedures, thereby improving the quality of care and the health of mothers and their children,” Chaillet told HealthDay.

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