West African Journal of Medicine

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Epidemiological Characteristics and Trends of Caesarean Delivery in a University Hospital in Northern Greece

I Kalogiannidis, S Petousis, C Margioula-Siarkou, S Masoura, T Dagklis, A Traianos, A Goutzioulis, N Prapas


Background: Current obstetric practice is characterised by a continuous increase in caesarean section (CS) delivery rates.
Objective: Main purpose of our study was to estimate the overall and annual rates of CS in a University Hospital in Greece.
Methods: This was a retrospective chart review of all singleton pregnancies delivered by CS between 2004 and 2008 at a gestational age > 24 weeks. The overall and annual CS rates were calculated. The rate of elective (Group 1) and emergency CS (Group 2), as well as the specific indications in the two groups of the study were also analyzed.
Results: Overall 5362 singleton pregnancies were delivered in the period of the study. The overall CS rate was 29.2% (n = 1564). The mean ±SD maternal age in years of the women delivered by CS was 29.65 ± 6.72 years, while it was 27.10 ± 5.63 years for those who delivered vaginally (P<.0001). The overall rates of elective and emergency CS were 18.2% and 11.0% respectively in the 5-year period of the study. The most common indication for an elective CS was a previous CS (63.1%), which remained almost stable during the period of the study. The main indication for emergency CS was foetal distress in the first three years of the study, while labour progress failure was the leading indication in the last two years.
Conclusion: In this series, the overall CS rate was high. A previous caesarean delivery accounts for about one third of all cases and constitutes the leading indication for elective CS while foetal distress is the most common indication for an emergency caesarean section.

AJOL African Journals Online