Original Article

Cesarean Delivery Management of Stillbirth: In-Depth Analysis of 75 Cases in a Rural State

Authors: Abigail M. Ramseyer, DO, Julie R. Whittington, MD, Everett F. Magann, MD, Songthip Ounpraseuth, PhD, Wendy N. Nembhard, PhD


Objective: To analyze the characteristics surrounding women who underwent cesarean delivery for stillbirth management in the rural, southern US state of Arkansas.

Methods: This was a planned secondary analysis of a retrospective descriptive study evaluating mode of delivery following the stillbirth of singleton pregnancies without anomalies or aneuploidy delivered in our state between July 2015 and June 2019. Data were extracted from a statewide reproductive health monitoring system and reviewed by the first three authors. Summary statistics were presented as means and standard deviations for continuous measures and frequencies and percentages for categorical variables.

Results: There were 861 patients diagnosed as having stillbirth between July 2015 and June 2019 in 44 hospitals in Arkansas. Seventy-five of those patients (8.7%) underwent cesarean delivery and are the basis for this analysis. Common indications for cesarean delivery were prior cesarean delivery (41%), malpresentation (18.7%), and abruption or hemorrhage (13.1%). Sixty-five percent of patients had a prior cesarean delivery. The most common complications were infection and hemorrhage, which accounted for 64.3% of known complications. The overall complication rate was 18.7% among stillbirths delivered via cesarean.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that cesarean delivery remains a common mode of delivery for management of stillbirth and that there is maternal morbidity associated with an abdominal delivery because 22.7% of the women undergoing a cesarean had an operative complication. It also highlights that prior cesarean delivery remains a common indication for a repeat abdominal delivery following a stillbirth despite the lack of fetal benefit.
Posted in: Pregnancy17

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