Send to

Choose Destination
J Paediatr Child Health. 1998 Jun;34(3):241-4.

Is a paediatrician needed at all Caesarean sections?

Author information

Department of Paediatric Intensive Care, Children's Health Center of Northern Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.



The need for a skilled neonatal resuscitator in the form of a paediatrician or paediatric registrar to attend a vaginal delivery or Caesarean section (CS) is not clearly defined. This study was undertaken in order to ascertain the level of resuscitation a neonate might require dependent on the delivery mode and type of anaesthesia used.


We analysed the Tasmanian Obstetric Audit from 1980 to 1989 for the need for intubation and Apgar scores at 1 min of term singleton deliveries by the mode of delivery.


The number of singleton term deliveries was 64739. When the data were analysed annually there was a trend for a reduction in the need for intubation in CS deliveries during the first 5 years, although this was not paralleled by an improvement in Apgar scores. Thus the intubation rate data are also presented for the last 5 years of the study. The intubation rate, Apgar score at 1 min of < 4, and Apgar score at 1 min of > or = 4 < 7 for repeat CS under epidural anaesthesia were 0.55% (0.26% for 1985-89) 0.83% and 3.58%, respectively, with relative risks when compared with spontaneous normal vaginal delivery of 1.8 (1.2 for 1985-89), 0.7 and 0.5, respectively. The relative risk of these outcomes was higher than for normal vaginal delivery for all other modes of delivery including repeat CS under general anaesthesia.


It is concluded that a paediatrician or paediatric registrar is not required to routinely attend repeat CS under epidural anaesthesia, but should be present for repeat CS under general anaesthesia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center