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Rate of Obstetric Complications Unchanged

Last Updated: April 23, 2009.

 

Delivery hospital stays with obstetric complications held steady from mid-1990s through early 2000s

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The rate of intrapartum maternal morbidity related to obstetric complications was similar between two periods in the 1990s and the 2000s, according to research published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of intrapartum maternal morbidity related to obstetric complications was similar between two periods in the 1990s and the 2000s, according to research published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Cynthia J. Berg, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) data from 2001 to 2005 and 1993 to 1997. The analysis reflects the morbidity in women for nearly 40 million deliveries.

The researchers found that between the two periods, the rate of delivery hospitalizations with an obstetric complication stayed steady at 28.6 percent. The most common complications in the later period included preeclampsia/eclampsia, third- and fourth-degree lacerations, and gestational diabetes. The percentage with preexisting medical conditions rose from 4.1 to 4.9 percent of deliveries. In addition, the cesarean delivery rate rose from 21.8 to 28.3 percent.

"As is the case with public health surveillance data, we hope that our findings can serve as a springboard for the use of more nuanced data for in-depth investigations of the effect of patient and health care factors on maternal morbidity. Although the NHDS does not contain data that could answer the questions raised by this overview, such as the reasons for the increase in postpartum hemorrhage rates or the relationship between cesarean delivery and morbidity, research institutions could use their large perinatal databases to study such issues," the authors conclude.

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