Research Article| Volume 116, ISSUE 1, P28-33, September 10, 2004

Evaluating the decision-to-delivery interval in emergency caesarean sections


      Objective: To assess the interval between the decision to carry out an emergency caesarean section and delivery, and to determine whether this interval can be shortened. Study design: A retrospective study was performed in a French maternity hospital over a 6-month period. All caesarean sections performed during labour were included. These caesarean sections were divided into two groups according to Lucas’s classification: (1) emergency and urgent caesarean sections and (2) scheduled caesarean sections. Results: The mean decision-to-delivery interval was 39.5 min in the first group and 55.9 min in the second group. It was mainly influenced by the time taken to get the patient into theatre. The mean decision-to-operating theatre interval accounted for 45.6 and 53.8% of the mean decision-to delivery-interval, respectively. Conclusion: The recommended interval of 30 min is not routinely achieved. Improving communication within the perinatal team could decrease the decision-to-operating theatre interval and should be promoted.


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