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Am J Perinatol. 2007 May;24(5):271-5. Epub 2007 May 4.

Adherence to guidelines on the management of dystocia and cesarean section rates.

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Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


The purpose of this study was to investigate to what extent the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) guidelines on dystocia are being followed, and whether adherence to the guidelines is related to cesarean section rates. Data were extracted from a maternity database for nulliparous women with singleton, cephalic pregnancies at 37 or more completed weeks of gestation for a 4-year period. Patients delivered by elective cesarean section were excluded. Data were examined to determine whether those who had a cesarean section for dystocia in the first stage of labor fulfilled SOGC guidelines. In addition, the obstetricians were divided into two groups (high or low) according to their cesarean section rate for dystocia to determine whether a higher section rate was associated with an increased guideline violation rate. There were 239 nulliparous women who had a cesarean section for dystocia in the first stage of labor. The guidelines were followed in 47.7% of spontaneous labors and 77.5% of inductions. The mean section rate for dystocia in the first stage of labor was 10.8% in the high group and 6.6% in the low group, and the incidence of guideline violations in these groups was 48.0% and 39.6%, respectively ( P = 0.07). The study had a power of 0.88 to detect a 40% difference in guideline violation rates between the two groups. We conclude that many women have cesarean section for dystocia performed without fulfilling SOGC guidelines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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