Caesarean section at full cervical dilatation has many implications for maternal and neonatal morbidity as well as subsequent pregnancy outcomes. However, increasing trends are reported internationally for second‐stage caesarean delivery.
To review the rate and indication for a caesarean section at full dilatation over a 5‐year period at a tertiary referral obstetric centre in Sydney.
Materials and Methods
Retrospective cohort review of all women with a singleton, cephalic presenting fetus at ≥370 weeks’ gestation delivered by caesarean section in the second stage of labour between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Medical records were reviewed, and demographic, maternal and fetal outcome data were obtained. Consultant supervision and documentation standards were recorded. The main outcome measures were the rate of caesarean section at full cervical dilatation, maternal and fetal morbidity.
During the study period, 8449/26063 (32.4%) babies were born by caesarean section. Of these surgical births, 476 (5.6%) were performed at full cervical dilatation at >37 weeks’ gestation. There was no observed trend over the 5 years. The majority of women delivered by caesarean section at full dilatation were nulliparous and in spontaneous labour. More than half of these women were delivered without a trial of instrumental delivery. Consultant obstetricians were present for 7% of public second‐stage caesarean deliveries.
We report a 5‐year experience with caesarean delivery at full dilatation at a tertiary unit. The rate was variable over the 5 years. Secondary outcome measures suggest that consultant supervision is uncommon and documentation standards require improvement.