Obstetric Surgery

Authors: Clark T. Johnson, Richard M. K. Adanu, Timothy R. B. Johnson


Maternal morbidity and mortality are significantly increased by conditions that can be prevented by access to safe obstetric surgery, and in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), a woman has a 1:150 lifetime risk, on average, of dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. The effects of a maternal death impact children who are orphaned and suffer from hindered access to health care, poorer nutrition, and worse education and affect the entire family economically. Obstetric complications such as shoulder dystocia, breech presentations, or multiple gestation may preclude vaginal delivery and require cesarean surgery. The cost-effectiveness of safe cesarean delivery and emergency obstetric care can be significantly enhanced by effective family planning programs and trained birth attendants and obstetric providers. Approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of deliveries need operative interventions that require access to a nearby hospital or center with anesthetic availability and blood transfusion services to handle postpartum hemorrhage situations.


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