Family physician and obstetrician episiotomy rates in low-risk obstetrics in southern Alberta

South Alberta Rural Residency Program, University of Calgary, Canada.
Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien (Impact Factor: 1.34). 04/2011; 57(4):450-6.
Source: PubMed


To examine the episiotomy rate for women delivering in a regional hospital versus the rate in rural hospitals.
Retrospective review of low-risk delivery charts for a 12-month period (2006 to 2007).
One regional and 3 rural hospitals in southern Alberta.
Charts were reviewed for a random sample of 10% of the women with low-risk deliveries at the regional hospital, and all such women at the participating rural hospitals. Eligible women were nulliparous or multiparous, were at 37 or more weeks' gestation, and delivered live newborns vaginally, including spontaneous and assisted vaginal deliveries. Low-risk deliveries were defined by the absence of high-risk maternal, prenatal, and perinatal features.
Details of the delivery, including use of episiotomy.
Charts were reviewed for 115 women who delivered in the regional hospital and for 140 women from the rural hospitals. Maternal and infant characteristics did not differ between settings (mean age 26 years, median parity 1, mean birth weight 3433 g [regional] and 3462 g [rural], and mean head circumference 35 cm). Episiotomies were performed in 13% of regional and 4% of rural deliveries (P = .01). Perineal tears occurred in 65% of regional (3 with third- to fourth-degree tears) and 57% of rural (2 with third- to fourth-degree tears) deliveries (P = .20). Deliveries were carried out by 12 FPs and 6 obstetricians in the regional centre, and by 19 FPs in the rural hospitals.
In our study, both rural and regional practitioners in southern Alberta demonstrated a "restrictive" use of episiotomy, in keeping with current evidence-based guidelines. Further prospective research is needed to examine how physician, maternal, and pregnancy characteristics affect episiotomy and perineal tear rates.

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Available from: Tyler Williamson, Dec 17, 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Routine episiotomy is a controversial issue among gynecologists. The aim of this study was to compare early maternal and neonatal complications of restrictive episiotomy and routine episiotomy in primiparus vaginal delivery. In this descriptive cross-sectional study, two groups of primiparus normal vaginal delivery (NVD) cases with routine and restrictive episiotomy were studied. Immediately and in the first 24 and 48 hours after delivery, specific charts were used to compare the two groups in terms of perineal laceration size, neonatal Apgar score and post-delivery. For data analysis, SPSS was used to conduct student t-test and Kruskal-Wallis test. A p-value < 0.05 was considered significant. Forty primiparus pregnant women were studied in each group. Episiotomy was performed in 7.5% of the restrictive group. Perineal laceration was measured as 3.68 ± 0.47 cm and 1.21 ± 1.1 in routine and restrictive episiotomy groups, respectively (p < 0.05). Intact perineum or first-degree laceration was seen in 80% of the restrictive group. However, second- and third-degree laceration were respectively observed in 75% and 15% of the routine episiotomy group (p < 0.05). Pain relief (immediately, 24 and 48 hours after delivery) was significantly higher in the restrictive group (p < 0.05). On the contrary, no significant difference in Apgar scores at the first and fifth minutes after birth was found between the two groups (p > 0.05). Restrictive episiotomy results in low maternal complications. Therefore, avoiding routine episiotomy in unnecessary conditions would increase the rate of intact perineal and minor perineal trauma and reduce postpartum delivery pain with no adverse effects neither on maternal nor neonatal morbidities.
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