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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2001 Mar;80(3):206-12.

Child births in a modified midwife managed unit: selection and transfer according to intended place of delivery.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Nordland Central Hospital, Bodø, Norway.



As small obstetrical departments may not be able to give second-level perinatal care, the delivery unit at Lofoten hospital was for the years 1997-98 reorganized to a modified midwife managed unit. Women at low obstetrical risk were delivered at this unit and women at high risk were referred to the central hospital. We assessed the effectiveness of the risk selection.


The study was a prospective, pragmatic, population-based trial. Desired outcome was defined as a non-operative delivery at 35-42 weeks gestational age giving an infant not needing resuscitation. Intermediate outcomes: Operative deliveries, infants transferred to neonatal intensive care unit and infants diverging from normal. The intended place of delivery was ultimately decided at admittance to the midwife managed unit.


Of the 628 women in study 435 (69.3%) gave birth at the midwife managed unit, 152 (24.2%) were selected to be delivered at the central hospital and 41 (6.5%) were transferred to the central hospital after admittance to the midwife managed unit. Desired outcome was recorded in 94% of the deliveries at the midwife managed unit as compared to 50.3% at the central hospital. Women who intended to be delivered at the midwife managed unit, needed fewer operative deliveries and relatively few infants were transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit or diverged from normal.


As nearly 70% of the births occurred at the midwife managed unit and 94% of these deliveries had a desired outcome, this indicates an effective selection process. This model might be an alternative to centralization of births in sparsely population areas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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