Thursday, December 27, 2007

Elective Caesareans and respiratory problems

Babies delivered by elective Caesarean sections are significantly more likely to have respiratory problems than those delivered vaginally or by emergency surgery, a new study finds...

The younger the gestational age, the more breathing problems there were for all babies, and the authors emphasized that the risk was small for all groups.

Still, the increased risk for the elective Caesarean babies was notable. At 37 weeks, they were almost four times as likely as others of the same gestational age to have respiratory problems, at 38 weeks three times as likely, and at 39 weeks almost twice as likely.

The differences remained even after controlling for maternal age, smoking, alcohol intake and other variables.

-Birthing: Elective Caesareans Tied to Breathing Problems

Here's the summary of the findings;

Results 2687 infants were delivered by elective caesarean section. Compared with newborns intended for vaginal delivery, an increased risk of respiratory morbidity was found for infants delivered by elective caesarean section at 37 weeks’ gestation (odds ratio 3.9, 95% confidence interval 2.4 to 6.5), 38 weeks’ gestation (3.0, 2.1 to 4.3), and 39 weeks’ gestation (1.9, 1.2 to 3.0). The increased risks of serious respiratory morbidity showed the same pattern but with higher odds ratios: a fivefold increase was found at 37 weeks (5.0, 1.6 to16.0). These results remained essentially unchanged after exclusion of pregnancies complicated by diabetes, pre-eclampsia, and intrauterine growth retardation, or by breech presentation.

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