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Urgency of caesarean section, grading, alarm chain and intrauterine resuscitation - a survey of Scandinavian practice

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BACKGROUND: About 40,000 women have caesarean section in Scandinavia each year. Organizational factors for emergency caesarean section (CS), classification, anaesthetic practice, alarm chain, intrauterine resuscitation has all been investigated in the United Kingdom, but no information from the Scandinavian countries exists.

METHODS: Using publicly available data from the National Board of Health, obstetric anaesthetic departments were identified. The heads of the departments provided e-mail contact details of two anaesthesiologists regularly practicing obstetric anaesthesia who were then surveyed.

RESULTS: One hundred and forty-five specialists from 82 departments in Scandinavia replied to our survey. Ninety-five percent of Danish specialists reported a three-grade classification system for urgency CS. Where classification in Denmark was enumerative classification, Norwegians equally reported enumerative and verbal descriptors, whereas Swedish specialists mostly reported verbal descriptors. Local guidelines describing decision-to-delivery interval for emergency CS was reported by 100% of Danish specialists vs. 47% from Norway and 85% from Sweden. Mean benchmark decision-to-delivery interval for emergency CS was 12.7 min. General anaesthesia for emergency CS was highly favoured in Norway (95%) and Sweden (97%), compared to Denmark (49%). Twenty specialists reported existence of local guidelines for intrauterine resuscitation.

CONCLUSION: Our survey of Scandinavian specialists indicate emergency CS practise differs from United Kingdom practices in several aspects; general anaesthesia is by the majority of Scandinavian specialists reported as the default choice for emergency CS and benchmark for decision-to-delivery interval is < 20 min. Nomenclature used for classification showed considerable variance in Norway and Sweden compared to Denmark. No joint Scandinavian guidelines exist.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Volume62
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
ISSN0001-5172
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

ID: 56704319