Rise in elec­tive c-sec­tions causes prac­tice re­view

East and Bays Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MANDY TE

Planned cae­sare­ans are putting Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal un­der pres­sure as more and more mums opt for the birthing pro­ce­dure.

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in planned cae­sare­ans es­pe­cially at Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal, which falls un­der Auck­land District Health Board’s (ADHB). ADHB is now em­bark­ing on a re­view to find out why the rate is in­creas­ing.

Last year 36 per cent of ba­bies born in Auck­land hos­pi­tal were de­liv­ered via cae­sarean sec­tion.

Cae­sarean sec­tions fall into two cat­e­gories - emer­gency and elec­tive. Emer­gency cae­sare­ans are un­planned. Elec­tive cae­sare­ans are planned and can be done at the re­quest of a mother even if there are no com­pli­ca­tions.

A 2016 Na­tional Women’s an­nual clin­i­cal re­port found the emer­gency cae­sarean rate was sta­ble at 16 to 18 per cent but the per­cent­age of elec­tive cae­sare­ans was in­creas­ing.

First time moth­ers who opted for elec­tive cae­sare­ans at ma­ter­nal re­quest was 19 per cent

‘‘There are no other ar­eas in health­care in New Zealand where this is ac­cept­able.’’ Ali­son Eddy

which was an ‘‘area of con­cern,’’ the re­port said.

Auck­land Hos­pi­tal ob­ste­tri­cian Michelle Wise said if num­bers con­tin­ued to in­crease, the hos­pi­tal would not have enough re­sources to pro­vide for the num­ber of cae­sare­ans.

ADHB’S elec­tive cae­sarean path­way will be re­viewed to find out why women were choos­ing to have planned cae­sare­ans, es­pe­cially when there was no rea­son to do so, Wise said.

‘‘It’s not about look­ing at the num­ber of cae­sare­ans that we’re do­ing, it’s about look­ing at ev­ery sin­gle one and re­as­sur­ing our­selves that each one is med­i­cally nec­es­sary and has some med­i­cal ben­e­fit to the woman.’’

New Zealand Col­lege of Mid­wives spokes­woman Ali­son Eddy said cae­sare­ans were an over-utilised in­ter­ven­tion in many coun­tries, in­clud­ing New Zealand. Women who had no com­pli­ca­tions could be opt­ing for elec­tive cae­sarean sec­tions due to fear, Eddy said.

‘‘Ma­ter­nity ser­vices are fully funded for New Zealand women, so it ap­pears that the pub­lic purse is fund­ing un­nec­es­sary surgery which is likely to be caus­ing harm to women and ba­bies,’’ Eddy said. ‘‘There are no other ar­eas in health­care in New Zealand where this is ac­cept­able.’’

CATRIN OWEN/STUFF

The path­way for elec­tive cae­sare­ans at Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal will soon be un­der re­view.

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