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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1994 Mar;73(3):240-5.

Technology use, cesarean section rates, and perinatal mortality at Danish maternity wards.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Fifty-eight Danish maternity units, managing 99% of Danish deliveries, participated in a cross sectional study to assess the relationship between use of birth-related technologies, cesarean section rates and perinatal mortality for births after 35 completed weeks of gestation. A regional technology index (0-10) was calculated for each maternity unit according to its use of ante and intra partum fetal heart rate monitoring (FHM), hormone analysis (human placental lactogen (HPL) and/or estriol (O3)), fetal blood samples (scalp-pH), intrauterine catheter and umbilical cord-pH. Maternity units using FHM had a 15% higher cesarean section rate (not planned) than units not using FHM (p < 0.05). The referral of potentially complicated deliveries to central units, which at the same time relatively often use FHM, is probably responsible for this association. Trying to encounter this selection bias a technology index was calculated for eight regions in Denmark, weighting the index of each unit in a region according to its number of deliveries. There was no association between the technology index in these eight regions in Denmark and their cesarean section rates. Use of FHM, technology index, and unplanned cesarean section rates in the eight regions were all without significant association to the perinatal mortality in the same regions. For births after the 35th completed week of gestation, this study could not confirm a relationship between different degrees of use of birth-related technologies and perinatal mortality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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