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J Chin Med Assoc. 2004 Jun;67(6):281-6.

Effect of peer review and trial of labor on lowering cesarean section rates.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.



In an attempt to lower cesarean section rates, a cesarean surveillance system and a selective trial of labor were introduced in a tertiary hospital in Taiwan.


From 1997 to 2000, 2 physicians were appointed as consultants for the pre-cesarean surveillance, and a trial of labor after a cesarean section was employed concurrently. We organized a weekly departmental Cesarean Indication Conference on Mondays. Comparisons of the cesarean rates between 1993-96 and 1997-2000 were made using the chi-square test. Comparisons of the proportion of overall cesarean sections contributed by each indication for both 1993 and 2000 were also made by chi-square test.


A comparison of the 4-year periods before and after 1997 showed that the total cesarean rate had decreased from 37.0 to 30.7% (p < 0.001), primary cesarean rate from 21.3 to 17.8% (p < 0.001), and repeat cesarean rate from 15.7 to 12.9% (p < 0.001). No uterine rupture occurred. Among the 54 indications for primary cesareans, compared between 1993 and 2000, the proportion rates for dystocia, fetal distress, preeclampsia, induction failure, gestational diabetes, and elderly primigravidahad decreased substantially.


The efficient way to lower the repeat cesarean rate is trial of labor, and the way to reduce the number of primary cesareans is in practicing of the guidelines for various indications. The cesarean surveillance system can solidify these guidelines, leading to a lower cesarean rate and an avoidance of inappropriate indications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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