Article

Evaluating the impact of the laborist model of obstetric care on maternal and neonatal outcomes

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Abstract

Background: The laborist model of obstetric care represents a change in care delivery with the potential of improving maternal and neonatal outcomes. Objective: We evaluated the effectiveness of the laborist model of care compared to the traditional model of obstetric care using specific maternal and neonatal outcome measures. Study design: This is a population cohort study with laborist and non-laborist hospitals matched 1:2 on delivery volume, geography, teaching status and NICU level using data from the National Perinatal Information Center/Quality Analytic Services (NPIC/QAS) database. A before and after study design with an untreated comparison group analyzed with the method of difference-in-differences was used to examine the impact of laborists on maternal and neonatal outcome measures within the 3 years after implementing the laborist system, after adjusting for secular trends, sociodemographic factors, and maternal medical conditions. The final outcome measures evaluated included cesarean delivery, chorioamnionitis, induction of labor, preterm birth, prolonged length of stay, Apgar at 5 minutes of less than 7, birth asphyxia, birth injury, birth trauma and neonatal death. Results: We studied nearly 550,000 women from 24 hospitals (8 laborist and 16 non laborist hospitals) between 1998 and 2011. Implementation of laborists was associated with fewer labor inductions (Adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.85, 0.71-0.99), and decreased rate of preterm birth (AOR 0.83, 0.72-0.96), after controlling for confounders. Laborists did not impact the cesarean delivery rate, chorioamnionitis, or prolonged length of stay. Conclusion: Implementation of the laborist model was associated with a significant reduction in labor induction rate and preterm birth without adversely affecting other outcomes.

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... 19 Lactating women without sexual desire had lower levels of hormones. [20][21][22] Oestrogen plays a critical role in mood and cognitive regulation. 21 Hence, menstrual resumption may be associated with the level of oestrogen and progesterone and has an impact on postpartum sexual intercourse. ...
... [20][21][22] Oestrogen plays a critical role in mood and cognitive regulation. 21 Hence, menstrual resumption may be associated with the level of oestrogen and progesterone and has an impact on postpartum sexual intercourse. Additionally, perineal trauma and the use of obstetric instrumentation are reported factors associated with the frequency or severity of postpartum dyspareunia, [23][24][25] while different types of episiotomy have no impact on the quality of sexual life and perception of perineal pain. ...
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Article
Objective This is a cross-sectional study that aimed to examine the resumption of sexual intercourse post partum, the utilisation of contraceptive methods and the influencing factors among Chinese women at a tertiary teaching hospital. Design This is a questionnaire survey by written and online interview for participants. Participants Based on medical records, we sent online questionnaires about postpartum sexual intercourse and contraception plans to 550 eligible women. Main outcome measures Potential factors affecting postpartum sexual intercourse and utilisation of contraception were determined by analysis of epidemiological and clinical factors and sexual experiences during and after pregnancy. Results Of 550 eligible participants, 406 women (73.8%) with a postpartum period of 8.5 months (range 6–10) completed the questionnaires; 146 of 406 (36.0%) resumed sexual intercourse within 3 months, and 259 of 279 (92.8%) used contraceptive methods. In univariate and multivariate analyses, sexual intercourse during pregnancy (adjusted OR 4.4, 95% CI 2.8 to 6.9) and resumption of menstruation (adjusted OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.5 to 4.3) were significant influencing factors in resumption of sexual intercourse within 3 months after childbirth. No factor was found to be associated with using contraceptive methods or the general resumption of sexual intercourse post partum. The questionnaire had good reliability and validity. Conclusions Having sexual intercourse during pregnancy and resuming menstruation earlier were independent factors for resumption of sexual intercourse within 3 months after delivery. Almost all women who had postpartum sexual intercourse used various contraceptive methods.
... The laborist or OBGYN hospitalist is the latest subspecialist, who covers only labor/delivery without having outpatient duty. 2,3 Usually, laborists are hired by hospitals independently of the hospital OBGYNstaffs who covers inpatients + outpatients. After over 10-year-long 'experiment' in the United States, the laborist is now considered effective to promote obstetricians' work-life balance without worsening the perinatal outcomes. ...
... After over 10-year-long 'experiment' in the United States, the laborist is now considered effective to promote obstetricians' work-life balance without worsening the perinatal outcomes. 2,3 Laborists themselves must work at night. Thus, we must balance between their burden and their willingness to work as laborists. ...
... The laborist or OBGYN hospitalist is the latest subspecialist, who covers only labor/delivery without having outpatient duty. 2,3 Usually, laborists are hired by hospitals independently of the hospital OBGYNstaffs who covers inpatients + outpatients. After over 10-year-long 'experiment' in the United States, the laborist is now considered effective to promote obstetricians' work-life balance without worsening the perinatal outcomes. ...
... After over 10-year-long 'experiment' in the United States, the laborist is now considered effective to promote obstetricians' work-life balance without worsening the perinatal outcomes. 2,3 Laborists themselves must work at night. Thus, we must balance between their burden and their willingness to work as laborists. ...
... Furthermore, concerning the healthcare facilities, even though financial interventions targeted at healthcare professionals did not show substantial effects, a different staffing model of delivery care seems to be able to provide a reduction in CS rate [36,37]. A collaborative midwifery-obstetric care in which the obstetrician's presence during labor and delivery and whose focus was solely on the labor and delivery unit without other competing clinical duties, was shown to reduce CS rate [38,39]. ...
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Article
Objective To evaluate the impact on cesarean section (CS) rate with of a program of multiple non-clinical interventions targeted at health-care professional within a hospital maternity ward. Materials and methods Retrospective quasi-experimental pre-post intervention study with an historical control group conducted in a second-level teaching hospital. All women who gave birth in the period 2014 to 2018 were included. A series of multiple non-clinical interventions including a dedicated team of obstetricians for delivery room and antenatal counseling, monthly internal audits and physician education by local opinion leader were prospectively introduced from September 2016. The primary outcome of the study was the CS rate. The incidences of operative vaginal delivery, 3rd−/4th-degree perineal tears and further maternal and neonatal complications were considered as secondary outcomes. Results The CS rate dropped from 33.05 to 26.06% after starting the interventions ( p < 0.01); in particular, the cumulative rate of CS performed during labor decreased significantly from 19.46 to 14.11% ( p < 0.01). CS reduction was still statistically significant after multivariate correction (OR = 0.66, CI.95 = 0.57–0.76, p < 0.01). Results further showed an increased prevalence of 3rd-degree perineal tears (0.97% versus 2.24%, p < 0.01), present also after correcting for possible confounding factors (OR = 2.36, CI.95 = 1.48–3.76, p < 0.01). No differences were found in the rate of vaginal-operative births and further maternal complications, while the composite neonatal outcome was found to be improved (OR = 0.73, CI.95 = 0.57–0.93, p = 0.010). Conclusions The introduction of multiple non-clinical interventions can significantly reduce the CS rate. However, beside an improvement in neonatal composite outcome, a potential increase in high-degree perineal tears should be taken in account.
... Several studies have supported the benefits of an OB/GYN hospitalist model on labor and delivery outcomes, including lower rates of labor inductions, CD, and preterm deliveries. [12][13][14] Additionally, this training environment may improve OB/GYN resident continuity with designated providers who specialize in delivering high quality obstetric care during labor. Thus, it is plausible that this may translate to increased OVD skills. ...
Article
Background : The obstetric landscape in the United States has changed over the past several decades, during which there has been a decline in number of operative vaginal deliveries (OVD) performed. Obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) resident procedural cases are tracked in the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) database, with a minimum requirement of 15 OVD prior to graduation. At present, it is unknown whether the decreasing OVD numbers are impacting OB/GYN resident delivery case volume and experience. Objective(s) : The objective of this study was to analyze trends in the number and route of obstetric deliveries, including OVD, performed by graduating OB/GYN residents in the United States as logged within the ACGME database. Study Design : The ACGME case log data were examined for OB/GYN residents graduating between 2003 and 2019. Delivery case volume numbers for spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD), cesarean delivery (CD), forceps-assisted vaginal delivery (FAVD), and vacuum-assisted vaginal delivery (VAVD) were extracted and analyzed over time using linear regression. To compare variability in logged cases, residents at the 70th percentile for number of cases logged were compared to residents at the 30th percentile for number of cases logged for each delivery type (SVD, CD, FAVD, and VAVD). Results : In total, obstetric delivery data for 20,268 OB/GYN residents was collected from 2003-2019. Over this period, the mean SVD numbers significantly decreased over time by 20% from 320.8±138.7 to 256.1±75.6 (slope -2.6, p<0.001), however, no significant difference was noted in reported CD cases, with an 8% increase from 191.8±80.1 to 206.8±69.7 (slope 0.136, p=0.873), per graduating resident. Notably, the mean reported FAVD cases decreased by 75% from 23.8±21.9 to 6±6.8 per graduating resident (slope -0.851, p<0.001). Similarly, the mean VAVD logs decreased by 37% from 23.8±17.1 to 15±9.5 (slope -0.542, p<0.001). The ratio of reported resident case logs comparing volume at the 70th percentile compared to volume at the 30th percentile demonstrated a significant decrease over time for SVD (slope -0.015, p<0.001), CD (slope -0.015, p<0.001) and VAVD (slope -0.033, p<.001), but was significantly increased for FAVD (slope .07, p=.0065). Conclusion(s) : In this study of the ACGME reported case logs, we identify that the reported number of obstetric deliveries performed by OB/GYN residents in the United States is changing, with a significant decline appreciated from 2003-2019 in logged numbers of SVD, VAVD and FAVD, without a difference in reported CD cases per graduating resident. Further, substantial variation is seen among resident volume nationwide, with the difference in high and low volume resident FAVD experience increasing over time. Awareness of these data should inform ACGME and educators about reasonable targets, increased need for simulation, and new ways to teach all modes of deliveries effectively in all residency programs.
... Employment of hospitalists in obstetrics has led to improvements in quality, such as the reduction of the number of cesarean sections, inductions, and preterm births. 16,17 Some surgical hospitalist models have seen the reduction of surgical complications from 21% to 12%. 13 Patient safety and quality improvement initiatives have also come from the work of hospitalists, including development of the I-PASS handoff tool, which was found to reduce clinically significant medical errors by 38% across 7 pediatric hospitals. ...
Article
Over the last 2 decades, there has been an increase in acuity among hospitalized patients and patients who present to the emergency department. As such, the role of the hospitalist as an inpatient medicine specialist has become increasingly important to many health systems. More recently, subspecialties in medicine have begun adopting the hospitalist model to care for their inpatients. This care delivery model helps provide continuity, potentially decreased cost and length of stay, and a better quality of life with a more predictable schedule for hospitalists and their outpatient colleagues. This model also aims to provide more timely consultation for inpatients, to help improve communication among inpatient caregiver teams, and to reduce redundant tests while also enhancing patient satisfaction. As a primarily outpatient procedure (and clinic)-based specialty, gastroenterology may benefit from the hospitalist model by being able to provide highly specialized care to acutely ill hospitalized patients with less disruption to outpatient schedules. This article discusses the structure of the gastroenterology hospitalist model, advantages to gastroenterologists and their practices, and the challenges of developing and implementing this model, as well as highlights the increasingly recognized value of this new paradigm in gastroenterology.
... and the preterm labor rate (adjusted OR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.96) [15]. Nevertheless, our study could not have the results regarding maternal and neonatal outcomes due to on-call, and hospitalist modes were simulated conditions. ...
Article
Objective: The workload of obstetric and gynecologic (OB-GYN) physicians has been an unprecedented increase because of the decrease in the number of such physicians. This study aimed to demonstrate that the hospitalist mode was the best mode for the work-life balance of OB-GYN physicians. Materials and methods: This was a retrospective study in a tertiary academic hospital. Patients were admitted to the labor ward for delivery. The number of deliveries performed by each OB-GYN physician in different working modes was measured. We reviewed the medical charts of women admitted for delivery as well as the shift schedule of OB-GYN physicians from January 1, 2018, to June 30, 2018. We classified deliveries into three modes: the traditional mode (patient designation), on-call mode, and the hospitalist mode. Traditional mode was the work mode currently. On-call mode and the hospitalist mode were simulated conditions. The number of deliveries and the total OB-GYN physician worked time for their shift were recorded. The differences between the three modes and between OB-GYN physicians were assessed using analysis of variance. Results: In total, 237 deliveries were recorded over 6 months (3 deliveries were excluded from our data); these deliveries were performed by four OB-GYN physicians named A to D. Significant differences in workload were noted between OB-GYN physicians working in the traditional mode and those in the on-call mode, but no significant differences were noted among those working in the hospitalist mode. All OB-GYN physicians worked an average of seven shifts, and no significant differences among them were noted. Conclusion: The hospitalist mode might be the optimal mode for OB-GYN physicians to achieve a favorable work-life balance if their original main jobs are obstetric practice.
... 9,10,42 Variation in cesarean rates between institutions may relate to differences in approaches to labor and birth management within an organization. Examples include perinatal care providers' approaches to antenatal decision making regarding elective cesarean birth, 43 characteristics of birth settings, 11,44 differing perinatal care models, 36,45,46 and social interaction effects that normalize intervention rates among neighboring hospitals. 47 Other aspects of birth culture known to affect the likelihood of cesarean include use of intervention during uncomplicated labors, 48 allowance of sufficient time for labor to progress, 49 use of universal electronic fetal monitoring, 50 and differences in care provided by labor and birth unit nurses. ...
Article
Introduction: The Robson 10-group classification system stratifies cesarean birth rates using maternal characteristics. Our aim was to compare cesarean birth utilization in US centers with and without midwifery care using the Robson classification. Methods: We used National Institute of Child and Human Development Consortium on Safe Labor data from 2002 to 2008. Births to women in centers with interprofessional care that included midwives (n = 48,857) were compared with births in non-interprofessional centers (n = 47,935). To compare cesarean utilization, births were classified into the Robson categories. Cesarean birth rates within each category and the contribution to the overall rate were calculated. Maternal demographics, labor and birth outcomes, and neonatal outcomes were described. Logistic regression was used to adjust for maternal comorbidities. Results: Women were less likely to have a cesarean birth (26.1% vs 33.5%, P < .001) in centers with interprofessional care. Nulliparous women with singleton, cephalic, term fetuses (category 2) were less likely to have labor induced (11.1% vs 23.4%, P < .001), and women with a prior uterine scar (category 5) had lower cesarean birth rates (73.8% vs 85.1%, P < .001) in centers with midwives. In centers without midwives, nulliparous women with singleton, cephalic, term fetuses with induction of labor (category 2a) were less likely to have a cesarean birth compared with those in interprofessional care centers in unadjusted comparison (30.3% vs 35.8%, P < .001), but this was reversed after adjustment for maternal comorbidities (adjusted odds ratio, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.12-1.32; P < .001). Cesarean birth rates among women at risk for complications (eg, breech) were similar between groups. Discussion: Interprofessional care teams were associated with lower rates of labor induction and overall cesarean utilization as well as higher rates of vaginal birth after cesarean. There was consistency in cesarean rates among women with higher risk for complications.
... Ce changement s'est fait en sécurité dans notre maternité grâce à l'instauration d'un protocole strict, incluant la pelvimétrie IRM 14 (figures 1 et 3) et de la présence d'obstétriciens expéri- mentés qui encadrent et supervisent ce type d'accouche- ment. 15 Quelles que soient les politiques adoptées par les maternités, 3-4 % 16,17 (et jusqu'à 7 %, selon nos données au CHUV encore non publiées) des présentations du siège vont naître par voie basse. Le plus souvent de façon inopinée et inévitable, ces accouchements par le siège sont les plus à risque lorsqu'ils surviennent en présence d'équipes non entraînées. ...
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Choosing between vaginal delivery and caesarean section in cases of breech presentation is still a matter of controversy. In this article, we present the Lausanne University Hospital's protocol following the introduction of an institutional vaginal breech delivery policy. Vaginal breech delivery is a viable alternative to caesarean section in the presence of an experienced obstetrician and rigorous patient-selection criteria.
... Previous report also shows the same results with our study. 13 In contrast, Goffman and colleagues with a program similar to laborist model showed a significant reduction (approx. 42%) in maternal and neonatal adverse events. ...
Article
Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic prompted labor and delivery units to establish ways to decrease viral exposure to healthcare workers while continuing to deliver optimal patient care. A laborist model was implemented to improve safety at our tertiary care hospital in Long Island. The aim of the study is to determine whether implementation of a laborist model during the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with a change in the frequency of cesarean birth. Methods: The retrospective cohort study included patients who delivered at a single tertiary center during March 2019 to May 2019 and March 2020 to May 2020 when our laborist model was initiated. The primary outcome compared the frequency of a cesarean delivery between both models. Secondary outcomes were the frequency of adverse obstetrical complications, which included intensive care unit admission, shoulder dystocia, intra-amniotic infection, hemorrhage, and need for blood transfusion. Statistical analysis included multivariable regression to adjust for potential confounders. Results: A total of 1506 patients were included. Baseline characteristics were similar between the 2 groups. After adjusting for potential confounders, there was no significant difference in the frequency of cesarean births between both models (37% versus 35%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.003; 95% confidence interval, 0.46-2.89). Similarly, there were no significant differences in adverse outcomes between the study populations (adjusted odds ratio, 1.064; 95% confidence interval, 0.68-1.59). Conclusions: A change in practice behavior during a pandemic was not associated with an increase in frequency of cesarean births or adverse obstetrical outcomes.
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Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities of colour the hardest. Non-Hispanic black and Hispanic pregnant women appear to have disproportionate SARS-CoV-2 infection and death rates. Methods and analysis: We will use the socioecological framework and employ a concurrent triangulation, mixed-methods study design to achieve three specific aims: (1) examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial/ethnic disparities in severe maternal morbidity and mortality (SMMM); (2) explore how social contexts (eg, racial/ethnic residential segregation) have contributed to the widening of racial/ethnic disparities in SMMM during the pandemic and identify distinct mediating pathways through maternity care and mental health; and (3) determine the role of social contextual factors on racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related morbidities using machine learning algorithms. We will leverage an existing South Carolina COVID-19 Cohort by creating a pregnancy cohort that links COVID-19 testing data, electronic health records (EHRs), vital records data, healthcare utilisation data and billing data for all births in South Carolina (SC) between 2018 and 2021 (>200 000 births). We will also conduct similar analyses using EHR data from the National COVID-19 Cohort Collaborative including >270 000 women who had a childbirth between 2018 and 2021 in the USA. We will use a convergent parallel design which includes a quantitative analysis of data from the 2018-2021 SC Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring System (unweighted n>2000) and in-depth interviews of 40 postpartum women and 10 maternal care providers to identify distinct mediating pathways. Ethics and dissemination: The study was approved by institutional review boards at the University of SC (Pro00115169) and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC IRB.21-030). Informed consent will be provided by the participants in the in-depth interviews. Study findings will be disseminated with key stakeholders including patients, presented at academic conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
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Objective This study aimed to identify factors associated with meeting the Obstetric Care Consensus (OCC) guidelines for nulliparous, term, singleton, and vertex (NTSV) cesarean births. Materials and methods This was a retrospective case control study of women with NTSV cesarean births between January 2014 and December 2017 at single tertiary care center. Demographics and clinical characteristics were compared between women with NTSV cesarean births which did or did not meet OCC guidelines. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to evaluate the effect of each variable on the odds of meeting OCC guidelines. Results There were 1,834 women with NTSV cesarean births of which 744 (40.6%) met OCC guidelines for delivery and 1,090 (59.4%) did not. After controlling for confounding factors, the odds of meeting OCC guidelines were increased for in-house providers managing with residents (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.03, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.44–2.87) and without residents (aOR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.30–2.12), compared with non-in-house providers managing without residents. There was no significant difference in the odds of meeting OCC guidelines for in-house providers managing with or without residents (aOR = 1.23, 95% CI: 0.84–1.79). Conclusion After adjusting for confounding factors, in-house provider coverage, regardless of resident involvement, is associated with increased odds of NTSV cesarean births meeting OCC guidelines. Key Points
Article
Objective This study aimed to evaluate the “off-hour effect” on maternal and neonatal adverse events in a large cohort representing U.S. population. Study Design A secondary analysis of the Consortium on Safe Labor (CSL) dataset with 208,695 women and 229,385 deliveries was performed. The study included the deliveries of ≥23 gestational weeks from 19 hospitals in the United States from 2002 to 2008. Babies with congenital anomalies were excluded from neonatal outcomes. We compared maternal and neonatal outcomes of patients delivered during weekdays versus off hours (nights and weekends). The primary outcomes of the study were composite maternal and composite neonatal adverse events. The secondary outcomes were delivery type and individual maternal and neonatal adverse events including maternal death and perinatal mortality rate. Associations between off hours and all the outcomes were analyzed in bivariable and multivariable analyses. The same analyses were performed in strata by indication for admission (spontaneous labor or induction of labor). Results Composite maternal adverse events (6.19 vs. 6.06%, p = 0.41) and maternal death (0.01 vs. 0.01%, p = 0.19) were not significantly different between off hours and weekday groups. In contrast, composite neonatal adverse events (6.91 vs. 5.84%, p < 0.001) and perinatal mortality rate (1.03 vs. 0.77%, p < 0.001) were higher in the off-hour group. After adjusting for confounding variables, only the composite neonatal outcome continued to be associated with off hours (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–1.16). Stratified analyses showed that the off-hour effect for the neonatal composite outcome was not present in those presenting in spontaneous labor (6.1 vs. 5.9%, p = 0.40). Conclusion Off-hour delivery was not associated with severe maternal morbidity and was only modestly associated with severe neonatal morbidity. This association was observed in women undergoing induction, not in those presenting in spontaneous labor. These data draw into question the existence of a clinically meaningful and correctable “off-hour effect” in obstetrics. Key Points
Article
The gastroenterology (GI) hospitalist model has improved endoscopic operations through improved interdisciplinary coordination, efficiencies introduced in endoscopy unit workflow, and increased patient access to both inpatient and outpatient GI care. The challenges and opportunities associated with a GI hospitalist model and supporting a GI hospitalist team are reviewed, especially in relation to advanced endoscopy. The roles of the GI hospitalist in endoscopy quality measurement and value-based care are also explored. Greater awareness of the GI hospitalist model and tailoring it to fit the needs of the GI practice or endoscopy unit will be key to practice sustainability and growth.
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Purpose: To offer obstetrical practitioners a current perspective about an important contemporary practice model which has implications that may not have been adequately recognized. Methods: A description of individual past professional experience. Results: A resultant perspective from decades of professional obstetric practice. Conclusion: A description of potential clinical impact on patients and practitioners alike.
Article
Background: Our goal was to examine differences in maternal and neonatal outcomes following the transition from a private practice to an academic model at a community hospital. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of a high-volume community hospital labor and delivery unit. A private practice hospitalist group was replaced with academic hospitalists. Maternal and neonatal outcomes for patients cared for by these groups were compared. The primary outcome was a composite of maternal morbidity that included blood transfusion, anal sphincter injuries, dilation and curettage, hysterectomy, chorioamnionitis, endometritis, wound infection, intensive care unit admission, and readmission. The secondary outcomes were cesarean delivery rate and a composite of neonatal morbidity that included Apgar score ≤3 at 5 min, shoulder dystocia, birth trauma, seizure, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, intraventricular hemorrhage, or mechanical ventilation. Results: 245 patients were delivered by private physicians and 447 by academic physicians over the study period. No difference in the composite maternal morbidity between private and academic hospitalist groups was identified (21 vs. 25%; aOR 1.37, 95% CI: 0.36-5.21). The academic hospitalist group had a higher cesarean delivery rate compared to the private group (25 vs. 18%; aOR 2.03, 95% CI: 1.17-3.53). There was no difference in a composite neonatal morbidity (9 vs. 8%; aOR 0.92, 95% CI: 0.052-1.63). Conclusion: Women cared for by academic hospitalists were more likely to have a cesarean delivery, but there was no difference in maternal or neonatal morbidity in patients delivered by private or academic hospitalists.
Article
Background Prior studies have found higher proportions of cesarean deliveries and longer postpartum hospital stays among women with disabilities compared to women without disabilities. However, no research has assessed how length of stay may differ for women with different types of disability while also considering mode of delivery. Objective To examine the association of disability status and disability type with length of stay, taking into account disability-related differences in mode of delivery. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study using linked maternal and infant hospital discharge and vital records data for all births in California between 2000 and 2012 (n=6,745,201). We used multivariable regression analyses to assess association of disability status and type with prolonged length of stay (>2 days for vaginal delivery or >4 days for cesarean) while controlling for covariates. Results Women with disabilities had significantly elevated adjusted odds of prolonged length of stay compared to women without disabilities (aOR=1.40, 95% CI=1.32-1.49). Adjusted odds were highest for women with vision disabilities (aOR=1.67, 95% CI=1.46-1.90), followed by women with IDD (aOR=1.53, 95% CI=1.30-1.80), and women with physical disabilities (aOR=1.41, 95% CI=1.32-1.50). Women with hearing disability had the lowest adjusted odds of prolonged length of stay (aOR=1.17, 95% CI=1.03-1.33). Conclusions Prolonged length of stay did not appear to be due solely to the higher proportion of cesarean deliveries in this population. Further research is needed to better understand the reasons for prolonged length of stay among women with disabilities and develop strategies to assist women with disabilities in preparing for and recovering from childbirth.
Article
Objectives To determine whether the receipt of therapeutic services of very-low-birth-weight (VLBW; ≤1500 g) neonates inadvertently delivered at community Level 2 and 3 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) compared with those born at a well-baby nursery (WBN; Level 1) differed. Methods This is a retrospective study of neonates who were born at Level 1 (WBN), 2, 3, and 4 NICUs and discharged from a Level 4 hospital (n = 529). All infants were evaluated at the Regional Neonatal Follow-up Program at 12 ± 1 months corrected gestational age (CA) and assessed for use of therapeutic services including: early intervention (EI), occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), speech therapy (ST), and special education (SE). Results Compared to infants born at community Level 2 and 3 NICU hospitals, those outborn at a community Level 1 WBN had significantly higher utilization of EI (90% vs. 62%) and PT (83% vs. 61%) at 12 months CA. This association persisted when controlling for covariates. Infants who required EI had significantly lower Bayley-III cognitive scores at 3 years of age. Conclusion VLBW infants outborn at WBN (Level 1) hospitals required more outpatient therapeutic services than those born at hospitals with NICU facilities. These results suggest that delivering at the appropriate community hospital level of care might be advantageous for long-term outcomes.
Article
Background: Caesarean section rates are increasing globally. The factors contributing to this increase are complex, and identifying interventions to address them is challenging. Non-clinical interventions are applied independently of a clinical encounter between a health provider and a patient. Such interventions may target women, health professionals or organisations. They address the determinants of caesarean births and could have a role in reducing unnecessary caesarean sections. This review was first published in 2011. This review update will inform a new WHO guideline, and the scope of the update was informed by WHO's Guideline Development Group for this guideline. Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of non-clinical interventions intended to reduce unnecessary caesarean section. Search methods: We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and two trials registers in March 2018. We also searched websites of relevant organisations and reference lists of related reviews. Selection criteria: Randomised trials, non-randomised trials, controlled before-after studies, interrupted time series studies and repeated measures studies were eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome measures were: caesarean section, spontaneous vaginal birth and instrumental birth. Data collection and analysis: We followed standard methodological procedures recommended by Cochrane. We narratively described results of individual studies (drawing summarised evidence from single studies assessing distinct interventions). Main results: We included 29 studies in this review (19 randomised trials, 1 controlled before-after study and 9 interrupted time series studies). Most of the studies (20 studies) were conducted in high-income countries and none took place in low-income countries. The studies enrolled a mixed population of pregnant women, including nulliparous women, multiparous women, women with a fear of childbirth, women with high levels of anxiety and women having undergone a previous caesarean section.Overall, we found low-, moderate- or high-certainty evidence that the following interventions have a beneficial effect on at least one primary outcome measure and no moderate- or high-certainty evidence of adverse effects.Interventions targeted at women or familiesChildbirth training workshops for mothers alone may reduce caesarean section (risk ratio (RR) 0.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.33 to 0.89) and may increase spontaneous vaginal birth (RR 2.25, 95% CI 1.16 to 4.36). Childbirth training workshops for couples may reduce caesarean section (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.94) and may increase spontaneous vaginal birth (RR 2.13, 95% CI 1.09 to 4.16). We judged this one study with 60 participants to have low-certainty evidence for the outcomes above.Nurse-led applied relaxation training programmes (RR 0.22, 95% CI 0.11 to 0.43; 104 participants, low-certainty evidence) and psychosocial couple-based prevention programmes (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.90; 147 participants, low-certainty evidence) may reduce caesarean section. Psychoeducation may increase spontaneous vaginal birth (RR 1.33, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.61; 371 participants, low-certainty evidence). The control group received routine maternity care in all studies.There were insufficient data on the effect of the four interventions on maternal and neonatal mortality or morbidity.Interventions targeted at healthcare professionalsImplementation of clinical practice guidelines combined with mandatory second opinion for caesarean section indication slightly reduces the risk of overall caesarean section (mean difference in rate change -1.9%, 95% CI -3.8 to -0.1; 149,223 participants). Implementation of clinical practice guidelines combined with audit and feedback also slightly reduces the risk of caesarean section (risk difference (RD) -1.8%, 95% CI -3.8 to -0.2; 105,351 participants). Physician education by local opinion leader (obstetrician-gynaecologist) reduced the risk of elective caesarean section to 53.7% from 66.8% (opinion leader education: 53.7%, 95% CI 46.5 to 61.0%; control: 66.8%, 95% CI 61.7 to 72.0%; 2496 participants). Healthcare professionals in the control groups received routine care in the studies. There was little or no difference in maternal and neonatal mortality or morbidity between study groups. We judged the certainty of evidence to be high.Interventions targeted at healthcare organisations or facilitiesCollaborative midwifery-labourist care (in which the obstetrician provides in-house labour and delivery coverage, 24 hours a day, without competing clinical duties), versus a private practice model of care, may reduce the primary caesarean section rate. In one interrupted time series study, the caesarean section rate decreased by 7% in the year after the intervention, and by 1.7% per year thereafter (1722 participants); the vaginal birth rate after caesarean section increased from 13.3% before to 22.4% after the intervention (684 participants). Maternal and neonatal mortality were not reported. We judged the certainty of evidence to be low.We studied the following interventions, and they either made little or no difference to caesarean section rates or had uncertain effects.Moderate-certainty evidence suggests little or no difference in caesarean section rates between usual care and: antenatal education programmes for physiologic childbirth; antenatal education on natural childbirth preparation with training in breathing and relaxation techniques; computer-based decision aids; individualised prenatal education and support programmes (versus written information in pamphlet).Low-certainty evidence suggests little or no difference in caesarean section rates between usual care and: psychoeducation; pelvic floor muscle training exercises with telephone follow-up (versus pelvic floor muscle training without telephone follow-up); intensive group therapy (cognitive behavioural therapy and childbirth psychotherapy); education of public health nurses on childbirth classes; role play (versus standard education using lectures); interactive decision aids (versus educational brochures); labourist model of obstetric care (versus traditional model of obstetric care).We are very uncertain as to the effect of other interventions identified on caesarean section rates as the certainty of the evidence is very low. Authors' conclusions: We evaluated a wide range of non-clinical interventions to reduce unnecessary caesarean section, mostly in high-income settings. Few interventions with moderate- or high-certainty evidence, mainly targeting healthcare professionals (implementation of guidelines combined with mandatory second opinion, implementation of guidelines combined with audit and feedback, physician education by local opinion leader) have been shown to safely reduce caesarean section rates. There are uncertainties in existing evidence related to very-low or low-certainty evidence, applicability of interventions and lack of studies, particularly around interventions targeted at women or families and healthcare organisations or facilities.
Article
Purpose of review: The present review highlights recent advances in efforts to improve patient safety on labor and delivery units and well tolerated care for pregnant patients in general. Recent findings: Recent studies in obstetric patient safety have a broad focus but repetitive themes for interdisciplinary training include: simulating critical events, having open multidisciplinary communication, frequent reviews of cases of maternal morbidity, and implementing maternal early warning systems. The National Partnership for Maternal Safety is also active in promoting care bundles across many topics on maternal safety. Summary: A culture of safety is the goal for all obstetric units. Achieving that ideal requires multidisciplinary collaboration, frequent reassessment for areas of improvement, and a culture of openness to change when improvement opportunities arise.
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This report presents 2009 data on U.S. births according to a wide variety of characteristics. Data are presented for maternal characteristics including age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, hypertension during pregnancy, attendant at birth, method of delivery, and infant characteristics (period of gestation, birthweight, and plurality). Birth and fertility rates by age, live-birth order, race and Hispanic origin, and marital status also are presented. Selected data by mother's state of residence are shown, as well as birth rates by age and race of father. Trends in fertility patterns and maternal and infant characteristics are described and interpreted. Descriptive tabulations of data reported on the birth certificates of the 4.13 million births that occurred in 2009 are presented. Denominators for population-based rates are postcensal estimates derived from the U.S. 2000 census. The number of births declined to 4,130,665 in 2009, 3 percent less than in 2008. The general fertility rate declined 3 percent to 66.7 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years. The teenage birth rate fell 6 percent to 39.1 per 1,000. Birth rates for women in each 5-year age group from 20 through 39 years declined, but the rate for women 40-44 years continued to rise. The total fertility rate (estimated number of births over a woman's lifetime) was down 4 percent to 2,007.0 per 1,000 women. The number and rate of births to unmarried women declined, whereas the percentage of nonmarital births increased slightly to 41.0. The cesarean delivery rate rose again, to 32.9 percent. The preterm birth rate declined to 12.18 percent; the low birthweight rate was stable at 8.16 percent. The twin birth rate increased to 33.2 per 1,000; the triplet and higher-order multiple birth rate rose 4 percent to 153.5 per 100,000.
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The core methods in today's econometric toolkit are linear regression for statistical control, instrumental variables methods for the analysis of natural experiments, and differences-in-differences methods that exploit policy changes. In the modern experimentalist paradigm, these techniques address clear causal questions such as: Do smaller classes increase learning? Should wife batterers be arrested? How much does education raise wages?Mostly Harmless Econometricsshows how the basic tools of applied econometrics allow the data to speak.In addition to econometric essentials,Mostly Harmless Econometricscovers important new extensions--regression-discontinuity designs and quantile regression--as well as how to get standard errors right. Joshua Angrist and J rn-Steffen Pischke explain why fancier econometric techniques are typically unnecessary and even dangerous. The applied econometric methods emphasized in this book are easy to use and relevant for many areas of contemporary social science.An irreverent review of econometric essentialsA focus on tools that applied researchers use mostChapters on regression-discontinuity designs, quantile regression, and standard errorsMany empirical examplesA clear and concise resource with wide applications.
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Matched sampling is a method for selecting units from a large reservoir of potential controls to produce a control group of modest size that is similar to a treated group with respect to the distribution of observed covariates. We illustrate the use of multivariate matching methods in an observational study of the effects of prenatal exposure to barbiturates on subsequent psychological development. A key idea is the use of the propensity score as a distinct matching variable. Statistics Version of Record
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Induction of labor is on the rise in the U.S., increasing from 9.5 percent in 1990 to 22.1 percent in 2004. Although, it is not entirely clear what proportion of these inductions are elective (i.e. without a medical indication), the overall rate of induction of labor is rising faster than the rate of pregnancy complications that would lead to a medically indicated induction. However, the maternal and neonatal effects of induction of labor are unclear. Many studies compare women with induction of labor to those in spontaneous labor. This is problematic, because at any point in the management of the woman with a term gestation, the clinician has the choice between induction of labor and expectant management, not spontaneous labor. Expectant management of the pregnancy involves nonintervention at any particular point in time and allowing the pregnancy to progress to a future gestational age. Thus, women undergoing expectant management may go into spontaneous labor or may require indicated induction of labor at a future gestational age. The Stanford-UCSF Evidence-Based Practice Center examined the evidence regarding four Key Questions: What evidence describes the maternal risks of elective induction versus expectant management? What evidence describes the fetal/neonatal risks of elective induction versus expectant management? What is the evidence that certain physical conditions/patient characteristics are predictive of a successful induction of labor? How is a failed induction defined? We performed a systematic review to answer the Key Questions. We searched MEDLINE(1966-2007) and bibliographies of prior systematic reviews and the included studies for English language studies of maternal and fetal outcomes after elective induction of labor. We evaluated the quality of included studies. When possible, we synthesized study data using random effects models. We also evaluated the potential clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness of elective induction of labor versus expectant management of pregnancy labor at 41, 40, and 39 weeks' gestation using decision-analytic models. Our searches identified 3,722 potentially relevant articles, of which 76 articles met inclusion criteria. Nine RCTs compared expectant management with elective induction of labor. We found that overall, expectant management of pregnancy was associated with an approximately 22 percent higher odds of cesarean delivery than elective induction of labor (OR 1.22, 95 percent CI 1.07-1.39; absolute risk difference 1.9, 95 percent CI: 0.2-3.7 percent). The majority of these studies were in women at or beyond 41 weeks of gestation (OR 1.21, 95 percent CI 1.01-1.46). In studies of women at or beyond 41 weeks of gestation, the evidence was rated as moderate because of the size and number of studies and consistency of the findings. Among women less than 41 weeks of gestation, there were three trials which reported no difference in risk of cesarean delivery among women who were induced as compared to expectant management (OR 1.73; 95 percent CI: 0.67-4.5, P=0.26), but all of these trials were small, non-U.S., older, and of poor quality. When we stratified the analysis by country, we found that the odds of cesarean delivery were higher in women who were expectantly managed compared to elective induction of labor in studies conducted outside the U.S. (OR 1.22; 95 percent CI 1.05-1.40) but were not statistically different in studies conducted in the U.S. (OR 1.28; 95 percent CI 0.65-2.49). Women who were expectantly managed were also more likely to have meconium-stained amniotic fluid than those who were electively induced (OR 2.04; 95 percent CI: 1.34-3.09). Observational studies reported a consistently lower risk of cesarean delivery among women who underwent spontaneous labor (6 percent) compared with women who had an elective induction of labor (8 percent) with a statistically significant decrease when combined (OR 0.63; 95 percent CI: 0.49-0.79), but again utilized the wrong control group and did not appropriately adjust for gestational age. We found moderate to high quality evidence that increased parity, a more favorable cervical status as assessed by a higher Bishop score, and decreased gestational age were associated with successful labor induction (58 percent of the included studies defined success as achieving a vaginal delivery anytime after the onset of the induction of labor; in these instances, induction was considered a failure when it led to a cesarean delivery). In the decision analytic model, we utilized a baseline assumption of no difference in cesarean delivery between the two arms as there was no statistically significant difference in the U.S. studies or in women prior to 41 0/7 weeks of gestation. In each of the models, women who were electively induced had better overall outcomes among both mothers and neonates as estimated by total quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as well as by reduction in specific perinatal outcomes such as shoulder dystocia, meconium aspiration syndrome, and preeclampsia. Additionally, induction of labor was cost-effective at $10,789 per QALY with elective induction of labor at 41 weeks of gestation, $9,932 per QALY at 40 weeks of gestation, and $20,222 per QALY at 39 weeks of gestation utilizing a cost-effectiveness threshold of $50,000 per QALY. At 41 weeks of gestation, these results were generally robust to variations in the assumed ranges in univariate and multi-way sensitivity analyses. However, the findings of cost-effectiveness at 40 and 39 weeks of gestation were not robust to the ranges of the assumptions. In addition, the strength of evidence for some model inputs was low, therefore our analyses are exploratory rather than definitive. Randomized controlled trials suggest that elective induction of labor at 41 weeks of gestation and beyond may be associated with a decrease in both the risk of cesarean delivery and of meconium-stained amniotic fluid. The evidence regarding elective induction of labor prior to 41 weeks of gestation is insufficient to draw any conclusion. There is a paucity of information from prospective RCTs examining other maternal or neonatal outcomes in the setting of elective induction of labor. Observational studies found higher rates of cesarean delivery with elective induction of labor, but compared women undergoing induction of labor to women in spontaneous labor and were subject to potential confounding bias, particularly from gestational age. Such studies do not inform the question of how elective induction of labor affects maternal or neonatal outcomes. Elective induction of labor at 41 weeks of gestation and potentially earlier also appears to be a cost-effective intervention, but because of the need for further data to populate these models our analyses are not definitive. Despite the evidence from the prospective, RCTs reported above, there are concerns about the translation of such findings into actual practice, thus, there is a great need for studying the translation of such research into settings where the majority of obstetric care is provided.
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The aim of our population-based study was to compare the mortality and morbidity of late-preterm infants to those born at term. Advancement in the care of extremely preterm infants has led to a shift of focus away from the more mature preterms, who are being managed as "near terms" and treated as "near normal." Some recent studies have suggested an increased risk of mortality and morbidity in this group compared with infants born at term. However, there are few population-based mortality and morbidity statistics for this cohort, particularly reflecting current practice. Using data from the British Columbia Perinatal Database Registry we analyzed all singleton births between 33 and 40 weeks' gestation from April 1999 to March 2002 in the province of British Columbia, Canada. We divided this birth cohort into late preterm (33-36 weeks, n = 6381) and term (37-40 weeks, n = 88 867) groups. We compared mortality and morbidity data and associated maternal factors between the 2 groups. Stillbirth rate and perinatal, neonatal, and infant mortality rates were significantly higher in the late-preterm group. Infants in this group needed resuscitation at birth more frequently than those in the term group. Late-preterm infants had a significantly higher incidence of respiratory morbidity and infection and had a significantly longer duration of hospital stay. Maternal factors that were more common in the late-preterm group included chorioamnionitis, hypertension, diabetes, thrombophilia, prelabor rupture of membranes, primigravida, and teenage pregnancy. Our data support recent literature regarding neonatal mortality and morbidity in late-preterm infants and warrants a review of care for this group at the local, national, and global levels. Reorganization of services and increased resource allocation may be needed in most hospitals and community settings to achieve optimization of care for this group of infants.
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Women who have had a spontaneous preterm delivery are at greatly increased risk for preterm delivery in subsequent pregnancies. The results of several small trials have suggested that 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) may reduce the risk of preterm delivery. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving pregnant women with a documented history of spontaneous preterm delivery. Women were enrolled at 19 clinical centers at 16 to 20 weeks of gestation and randomly assigned by a central data center, in a 2:1 ratio, to receive either weekly injections of 250 mg of 17P or weekly injections of an inert oil placebo; injections were continued until delivery or to 36 weeks of gestation. The primary outcome was preterm delivery before 37 weeks of gestation. Analysis was performed according to the intention-to-treat principle. Base-line characteristics of the 310 women in the progesterone group and the 153 women in the placebo group were similar. Treatment with 17P significantly reduced the risk of delivery at less than 37 weeks of gestation (incidence, 36.3 percent in the progesterone group vs. 54.9 percent in the placebo group; relative risk, 0.66 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.54 to 0.81]), delivery at less than 35 weeks of gestation (incidence, 20.6 percent vs. 30.7 percent; relative risk, 0.67 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.48 to 0.93]), and delivery at less than 32 weeks of gestation (11.4 percent vs. 19.6 percent; relative risk, 0.58 [95 percent confidence interval, 0.37 to 0.91]). Infants of women treated with 17P had significantly lower rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, intraventricular hemorrhage, and need for supplemental oxygen. Weekly injections of 17P resulted in a substantial reduction in the rate of recurrent preterm delivery among women who were at particularly high risk for preterm delivery and reduced the likelihood of several complications in their infants.
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Delayed or inaccurate communication between hospital-based and primary care physicians at hospital discharge may negatively affect continuity of care and contribute to adverse events. To characterize the prevalence of deficits in communication and information transfer at hospital discharge and to identify interventions to improve this process. MEDLINE (through November 2006), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and hand search of article bibliographies. Observational studies investigating communication and information transfer at hospital discharge (n = 55) and controlled studies evaluating the efficacy of interventions to improve information transfer (n = 18). Data from observational studies were extracted on the availability, timeliness, content, and format of discharge communications, as well as primary care physician satisfaction. Results of interventions were summarized by their effect on timeliness, accuracy, completeness, and overall quality of the information transfer. Direct communication between hospital physicians and primary care physicians occurred infrequently (3%-20%). The availability of a discharge summary at the first postdischarge visit was low (12%-34%) and remained poor at 4 weeks (51%-77%), affecting the quality of care in approximately 25% of follow-up visits and contributing to primary care physician dissatisfaction. Discharge summaries often lacked important information such as diagnostic test results (missing from 33%-63%), treatment or hospital course (7%-22%), discharge medications (2%-40%), test results pending at discharge (65%), patient or family counseling (90%-92%), and follow-up plans (2%-43%). Several interventions, including computer-generated discharge summaries and using patients as couriers, shortened the delivery time of discharge communications. Use of standardized formats to highlight the most pertinent information improved the perceived quality of documents. Deficits in communication and information transfer at hospital discharge are common and may adversely affect patient care. Interventions such as computer-generated summaries and standardized formats may facilitate more timely transfer of pertinent patient information to primary care physicians and make discharge summaries more consistently available during follow-up care.
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Late-preterm infants (34-36 weeks' gestation) account for nearly three quarters of all preterm births in the United States, yet little is known about their morbidity risk. We compared late-preterm and term (37-41 weeks' gestation) infants with and without selected maternal medical conditions and assessed the independent and joint effects of these exposures on newborn morbidity risk. We used 1998-2003, population-based, Massachusetts birth and death certificates data linked to infant and maternal hospital discharge records from the Massachusetts Pregnancy to Early Life Longitudinal data system. Newborn morbidity risks that were associated with gestational age and selected maternal medical conditions, both independently and as joint exposures, were estimated by calculating adjusted risk ratios. A new measure of newborn morbidity that was based on hospital discharge diagnostic codes, hospitalization duration, and transfer status was created to define newborns with and without life-threatening conditions. Eight selected maternal medical conditions were assessed (hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, diabetes, antepartum hemorrhage, lung disease, infection, cardiac disease, renal disease, and genital herpes) in relation to newborn morbidity. Our final study population included 26,170 infants born late preterm and 377,638 born at term. Late-preterm infants were 7 times more likely to have newborn morbidity than term infants (22% vs 3%). The newborn morbidity rate doubled in infants for each gestational week earlier than 38 weeks. Late-preterm infants who were born to mothers with any of the maternal conditions assessed were at higher risk for newborn morbidity compared with similarly exposed term infants. Late-preterm infants who were exposed to antepartum hemorrhage and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were especially vulnerable. Late-preterm birth and, to a lesser extent, maternal medical conditions are each independent risk factors for newborn morbidity. Combined, these 2 factors greatly increased the risk for newborn morbidity compared with term infants who were born without exposure to these risks.
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Using research designs patterned after randomized experiments, many recent economic studies examine outcome measures for treatment groups and comparison groups that are not randomly assigned. By using variation in explanatory variables generated by changes in state laws, government draft mechanisms, or other means, these studies obtain variation that is readily examined and is plausibly exogenous. This article describes the advantages of these studies and suggests how they can be improved. It also provides aids in judging the validity of inferences that they draw. Design complications such as multiple treatment and comparison groups and multiple preintervention or postintervention observations are advocated.
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To examine the association between labor and delivery practice model and cesarean delivery rates at a community hospital.Methods This was a retrospective cohort study of 9,381 singleton live births at one community hospital, where women were provided labor and delivery care under one of two distinct practice models: a traditional “private” practice model and a midwife-physician “laborist” practice model. Cesarean rates were compared by practice model, adjusting for potential sociodemographic and clinical confounders. Statistical comparisons were performed using the chi square test and multivariable logistical regression.ResultsCompared with women managed under the midwife/laborist model, women in the private model were significantly more likely to have a cesarean delivery (31.6% vs 17.3%, p<0.001; adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.73-2.58). Women with nulliparous, term, singleton, vertex (NTSV) gestations also were more likely to have a cesarean delivery if they were cared for in the private model (29.8% versus 15.9%, p<0.001; aOR 1.86, 95% CI 1.33-2.58) as were women who had a prior cesarean delivery (71.3% versus 41.4%, p<0.001; aOR 3.19, 95% CI 1.74-5.88).Conclusion In this community hospital setting, a midwife-physician laborist practice model was associated with lower cesarean rates than a private practice model.
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Objective: The impact of hospital obstetric volume specifically on maternal outcomes remains under studied. We examined the impact of hospital obstetric volume on maternal outcomes in low-risk women who delivered non-low-birthweight infants at term. Study design: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of term singleton, non-low-birthweight live births from 2007-2008 in California. Deliveries were categorized by hospital obstetric volume categories and separately for nonrural hospitals (category 1: 50-1199 deliveries per year; category 2: 1200-2399; category 3: 2400-3599, and category 4: ≥3600) and rural hospitals (category R1: 50-599 births per year; category R2: 600-1699; category R3: ≥1700). Maternal outcomes were compared with the use of the chi-square test and multivariable logistic regression. Results: There were 736,643 births in 267 hospitals that met study criteria. After adjustment for confounders, there were higher rates of postpartum hemorrhage in the lowest-volume rural hospitals (category R1 adjusted odds ratio, 3.06; 95% confidence interval, 1.51-6.23). Rates of chorioamnionitis, endometritis, severe perineal lacerations, and wound infection did not differ between volume categories. Longer lengths of stay were observed after maternal complications (eg, chorioamnionitis) in the lowest-volume hospitals (16.9% prolonged length of stay in category 1 hospitals vs 10.5% in category 4 hospitals; adjusted odds ratio, 1.91; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-3.61). Conclusion: After confounder adjustment, few maternal outcomes differed by hospital obstetric volume. However, elevated odds of postpartum hemorrhage in low-volume rural hospitals raises the possibility that maternal outcomes may differ by hospital volume and geography. Further research is needed on maternal outcomes in hospitals of different obstetric volumes.
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Recognition of preterm birth as the major underlying cause of infant mortality in the United States has placed responsibility for prevention in the hands of obstetrician-gynecologists. The advent of effective methods to identify and treat women with increased risk is a major advance that will alter the focus of prenatal care. Adoption of research findings into clinical practice, never an easy task, will be particularly challenging for efforts to reduce the risk of preterm birth. Historical risk factors for preterm birth are numerous and variably defined. Measurement of the length of the cervix with ultrasonography requires unique personnel and facilities. Care algorithms exist but lack the detailed information that comes with experience. This review offers perspective and detail to aid health care practitioners in developing a prematurity prevention strategy appropriate to their practice population.
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The traditional statistical analyses with adjustment for confounders in observational studies assume that there is perfect similarity in the already provided medical management between the comparison groups. However, variations in medical management frequently exist due to differences in circumstances of health care. We propose that in order to minimize the selection bias of observational studies, the degree of similarity or dissimilarity of the comparison groups regarding the circumstances of health care should be considered. Circumstances of health care include the geographic setting, health care setting, type of health care providers and likelihood in having confounding introduced by differences in the medical management between comparison groups. We propose a comparability scoring system of circumstances of care and provide examples of the application of this system, using recent literature to assess comparability among study groups. In our examples, the presupposed statistical associations disappeared once the analyses accounted for the differences in circumstances of care. Authors of submitted manuscripts using an observational study design may consider incorporating our scoring system or an equivalent in their methods and in reporting of the results. The comparability score should be factored during statistical analysis so that the appropriate analysis can correct for differences in circumstances of care. The use of a comparability scoring system can provide important insights for reviewers and readers that will improve the interpretation of this type of research study.
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Using a population based cohort, we examined hospital level variation overall and by teaching status in 2 maternal outcomes, postpartum infections and thrombosis. Linked birth certificate and hospital admission records for mother and infant were collected on all deliveries in Pennsylvania and California from 2004-2005. A risk adjustment model was created using maternal and fetal co-morbidities identified by ICD-9 codes. Hospitals were classified as teaching (TH) or non teaching hospitals (NTH) based on the presence of Obstetrics and Gynecology residents. Rates of infections and thrombosis were evaluated overall and by hospital teaching status. 939,871 patients were evaluated from 402 hospitals (369 NTH, and 33 TH). The unadjusted infection and VTE rates were higher in TH vs. NTH (infection: 2.04% vs. 1.07%, p<0.001; VTE: 1.04% vs 0.08%m p<0.001). There was variation in the rates of these complications across hospitals, with the adjusted O/E rates for infection and thrombosis for each hospital ranging from 0-5.2 and 0-8.6 respectively. There is substantial variation in infection and thrombosis rates among hospitals both overall and by teaching status suggesting that these two outcomes may be useful measures of inpatient obstetric quality.
Article
Laborist programs have expanded throughout the United States in the last decade. Meanwhile, there has been no published research examining their effect on patient outcomes. Cesarean delivery is a key performance metric with maternal health implications and significant financial impact. Our hypothesis is that the initiation of a full-time dedicated laborist staff decreases cesarean delivery. In a tertiary hospital staffed with private practice physicians, data were retrospectively reviewed for 3 time periods from 2006 through 2011. The first period (16 months) there were no laborists (traditional model), followed by 14 months of continuous in-hospital laborist coverage provided by community staff (community laborist), and finally a 24-month period with full-time laborists providing continuous in-hospital coverage. The primary hypothesis was that full-time laborists would decrease cesarean delivery rates. Data from 6206 term nulliparous patients were retrospectively reviewed. The cesarean delivery rate for no laborist care was 39.2%, for community physician laborist care was 38.7%, and for full-time laborists was 33.2%. With adjustment via logistic regression, full-time laborist presence was associated with a significant reduction in cesarean delivery when contrasted with no laborist (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% confidence interval, 0.64-0.83; P < .0001) or community laborist care (odds ratio, 0.77; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-0.87; P < .001). The community laborist model was not associated with an effect upon cesarean delivery. A dedicated full-time laborist staff model is associated with lower rates of cesarean delivery. These findings may be used as part of a strategy to reduce cesarean delivery, lower maternal morbidity and mortality, and decrease health care costs.
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Several matching methods that match all of one sample from another larger sample on a continuous matching variable are compared with respect to their ability to remove the bias of the matching variable. One method is a simple mean-matching method and three are nearest available pair-matching methods. The methods' abilities to remove bias are also compared with the theoretical maximum given fixed distributions and fixed sample sizes. A summary of advice to an investigator is included.
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Matching to control for covariates in the estimation of treatment effects is not common in sociology, where multivariate data are most often analyzed using multiple regression and its generalizations. Matching can be a useful way to estimate these effects, especially when the treatment condition is comparatively rare in a population, and controls are numerous but mostly unlike the treatment cases. Matching on numerous covariates is abetted by the estimation of propensity scores, or functions of the probability that cases are treatments rather than controls. This procedure is illustrated in the estimation of the effects of an organizational innovation on Medicare mortality within hospitals; the data set is very large, but innovative hospitals few, and many of the remaining hospitals are quite unlike the hospitals constituting the treatment subsample. Results are based on a variance-components model that is extended to consider the effects of an additional covariate. They show effects of the organizational innovation comparable to those estimated via multiple regression models but with substantially reduced standard errors.
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Cesarean delivery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States, and cesarean rates are increasing. Working with 2009 data from 593 US hospitals nationwide, we found that cesarean rates varied tenfold across hospitals, from 7.1 percent to 69.9 percent. Even for women with lower-risk pregnancies, in which more limited variation might be expected, cesarean rates varied fifteenfold, from 2.4 percent to 36.5 percent. Thus, vast differences in practice patterns are likely to be driving the costly overuse of cesarean delivery in many US hospitals. Because Medicaid pays for nearly half of US births, government efforts to decrease variation are warranted. We focus on four promising directions for reducing these variations, including better coordinating maternity care, collecting and measuring more data, tying Medicaid payment to quality improvement, and enhancing patient-centered decision making through public reporting.
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The period following discharge from the hospital is a vulnerable time for patients. About half of adults experience a medical error after hospital discharge, and 19%–23% suffer an adverse event, most commonly an adverse drug event. This article reviews several important challenges to providing high-quality care as patients leave the hospital. These include the discontinuity between hospitalists and primary care physicians, changes to the medication regimen, new self-care responsibilities that may stress available resources, and complex discharge instructions. We also discuss approaches to promoting more effective transitions of care, including improvements in communication between inpatient and outpatient physicians, effective reconciliation of prescribed medication regimens, adequate education of patients about medication use, closer medical follow-up, engagement with social support systems, and greater clarity in physician–patient communication. By understanding the key challenges and adopting strategies to improve patient care in the transition from hospital to home, hospitalists could significantly reduce medical errors in the postdischarge period. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2007;2:314–323. © 2007 Society of Hospital Medicine.
Article
To investigate the relation between the timing of birth and the occurrence of death related to an intrapartum event. Analysis of 107,206 births to Welsh residents in 1993-5, including 608 cases of stillbirth and 407 of neonatal death identified in the all Wales perinatal survey, the cause of death classified with the clinicopathological system. 79 normally formed babies stillborn or who died in the neonatal period, birth weight > 1499 g, for whom cause of death was related to an intrapartum event. Relative risk of death due to an intrapartum event according to the hour, day, and month of birth. Mortality was higher in babies born between 9.00 pm and 8.59 am than in those born between 9.00 am and 8.59 pm; relative risk (95% confidence interval) 2.18 (1.37 to 3.47). July and August births also had a higher death rate than births in other months; relative risk 1.99 (1.23 to 3.23). Weekened births had a higher death rate but it was not significant. The excess of deaths at night and during months when annual leave is popular may indicate an overreliance on inexperienced staff at these times. Errors of judgement may also be related to physical and mental fatigue, demanding a more disciplined systematic approach at night. Mistakes may be ameliorated by increasing shiftwork, but shifts should be carefully designed to avoid undue disruption of circardian rhythms. In addition, greater supervision by senior staff may be required at night and during summer months.
Article
Utilization of the laborist model in the provision of obstetric (OB) care appears to be growing. In collaboration with the National Perinatal Information Center/Quality Analytic Services (NPIC/QAS), we assessed the utilization of this model of care delivery and hospital-level characteristics associated with its use. A cross-sectional electronic survey of all NPIC/QAS member hospitals (26 states) was performed in February 2010. Questions assessed staffing and clinical capabilities and utilization of laborists. The association between laborists and hospital-level characteristics were calculated using chi-square analyses or Fisher's exact tests for categorical variables and t tests for continuous variables. Ninety-three percent of hospitals (69/74) responded and only those that provide OB services were analyzed (N = 68). Nearly 40% (25/68) of hospitals responded that they are utilizing laborists. Delivery volume is significantly associated with implementation of laborists whereas OB level, presence of residents and fellows, and geography were not. Laborists are being introduced into the OB care delivery model rapidly. This is the first assessment of their use in a large sample of US hospitals. Given the millions of women who deliver each year, it is imperative to evaluate the impact of this model on patient safety and outcomes.
Article
The objective of the study was to obtain descriptive information about obstetricians/gynecologists who currently are practicing as hospitalists or laborists. A survey was emailed to all actively practicing member Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in April 2009. A second emailing of the survey was sent in May 2009. Obstetrician/gynecologist hospitalists and laborists are significantly younger than the rest of the obstetrician/gynecologist sample by age and years in residency and have a high rate of career satisfaction. There was a great deal of variation in work schedules and compensation of the respondents. We analyzed the rapidly growing hospitalist/laborist model of care within the obstetrician/gynecologist specialty. The laborists and hospitalists model provides an alternative type of practice for obstetricians/gynecologists, and it is associated with high career satisfaction. It is important that we continue to monitor the needs of this burgeoning field of clinical practice.
Article
Over 4 million women give birth annually in the United States, making delivery one of the most common reasons for hospital care. We examined 15-year trends in risk-adjusted maternal complications following childbirth. We examined maternal obstetrical outcomes from 1992-2006 among women undergoing cesarean delivery (CD) and vaginal delivery (VD). A composite measure of major maternal complications including infection, hemorrhage, laceration, and other major operative and thrombotic complications was evaluated. Population-based sample of over 6 million women from Florida and New York hospital discharge data. Obstetric procedures and maternal complications postdelivery. During the 15-year time period, the CD rate decreased from 24.7% in 1992 to 23% in 1996 and increased to 34.7% in 2006. The risk-adjusted rate of any major complication declined from 14.7% in 1992 to 10.7% in 2006 for all deliveries; from 14.4% to 11.6% for VD; and from 15.7% to 8.5% for CD. During 1992 to 2006, the average number of comorbidities increased from 0.65 to 0.93 for patients overall, from 0.43 to 0.58 for VD patients, and 1.34 to 1.59 for CD patients. As evidenced by New York and Florida, the US has seen large reductions in major maternal complications over the past 15 years. Concurrently, the average number of comorbidities increased. These results reflect substantial improvements in maternal delivery outcomes.
Article
There is a relative paucity of data regarding neonatal outcomes in the late preterm cohort (34 to 36 6/7 weeks). This study sought to assess differences in adverse outcomes between infants delivering 32 to 33 6/7, 34 to 36 6/7 weeks, and 37 weeks or later. Data were collected as part of a retrospective cohort study of preterm labor patients (2002-2005). Patients delivering 32 weeks or later were included (n = 264). The incidence of adverse outcomes was assessed. Significant associations between outcomes and gestational age at delivery were determined using chi(2) analyses and Poisson regression modeled cumulative incidence and controlled for confounders. Late preterm infants have increased risk of adverse outcomes, compared with term infants. Controlling for confounders, there was a 23% decrease in adverse outcomes with each week of advancing gestational age between 32 and 39 completed weeks (relative risk 0.77, P < .001, 95% confidence interval, 0.71-0.84). Further investigation regarding obstetrical management and long-term outcomes for this cohort is warranted.
Article
We hypothesized that successful implementation of regionalized perinatal care would result in early identification and antenatal referral of high-risk neonates, and also improved stabilization before and during transport of those transferred postnatally. We conducted a retrospective study of demographic characteristics and transport outcome in two defined groups of neonates transported to regional perinatal centers in Tennessee, one group (n = 218) from the first year of regionalization (1975), and a second group (n = 261) from the 12th year (1986). The percentage of outborn infants decreased, from 50% of all admissions in 1975 to 22% in 1986 (P = .005). Likewise, the percentage of low-birthweight neonates transported after birth decreased, from 59% of all transports to 32% (P = .002). The frequency of stabilization measures performed before and during transport increased between study years (intravenous line placement: 12% to 58%, P = .0001; assisted ventilation: 10% to 33%, P = .001). The incidence of complications during transport decreased between study years (cyanosis: 25% to 8%, P = .0001; hypothermia: 30% to 3%, P = .0001; acidemia: 33% to 13%, P = .011). Both transport-related mortality and neonatal mortality decreased between study years (2.8% to 0.8%, P = .043; 17% to 7%, P = .0001, respectively). We conclude that regionalization during its first decade has been successful in improving perinatal care in Tennessee as indicated by favorable changes in referral patterns and improved outcome of transported neonates.
Article
To assess the degree of perinatal regionalization, maternal and infant records were reviewed for all very low birth weight (501-1500 g) infants born in calendar years 1985-1986 to residents of the primarily rural North Central Perinatal Region of Illinois. Seventy-one percent of mothers who were expected to deliver in non-center hospitals could have realistically been referred to perinatal centers for delivery. Ninety-four percent of realistic antenatal referrals actually occurred. In Peoria, 79% of mothers expected to deliver very low birth weight infants at non-center hospitals could realistically have been referred to the center for delivery, and all such referrals actually occurred. Because a goal of regionalization is to deliver certain high-risk women in centers, the fact that 94% of rural and 100% of urban realistic antenatal referrals actually occurred suggests that the North Central Perinatal Region is well regionalized. Other centers should study the site of delivery of this or other well-defined regional cohorts of high-risk pregnancies to quantitate how well perinatal care is regionalized in their respective areas.
Article
The effect of level of perinatal care on rates of intrapartum fetal death was studied in births of infants weighing greater than 1000 gm in New York City in 1976 to 1978. With potential confounding by birth weight, gestational age, and several other variables controlled, intrapartum fetal death rates decreased as intensiveness of care increased. Compared with births in Level 3 maternity units (perinatal intensive care), births in Level 1 units (community hospitals) had a 61% excess risk of intrapartum fetal death (p less than 0.01) and births in Level 2 units (intermediate level of care) had a 35% excess risk (p = 0.06). The effect of hospital level on intrapartum fetal death rates could not be attributed to differences in the classification of fetal deaths during labor across hospital levels, since no compensatory differences in late antepartum fetal death rates were found. Our findings in a total population are compatible with several studies carried out in single hospitals that have reported declines in intrapartum fetal death rates, especially in births more closely attended during labor. Fetal deaths that occur in labor, as contrasted with fetal deaths occurring before labor, constitute a perinatal outcome that is especially sensitive to level of obstetric care.
Article
A prospective study was undertaken to evaluate antenatal maternal referral, acute maternal transport, and neonatal transport to a regional perinatal center in a metropolitan area. During an 18-month period, there were 143 antenatal maternal referrals, 254 antenatal maternal transports, and 506 neonatal transports. Indications for the antenatal referrals were maternal diseases of a chronic nature. This group had a 28.7% incidence of delivery by primary cesarean section, a 15.8% incidence of low-birth weight infants, and a 30.8% incidence of neonatal admissions to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The perinatal mortality rate was 13.7 per thousand which compares favorably with that of low-risk obstetric patients. Indications for the antenatal maternal transports were mainly premature labor and/or premature rupture of the membranes and third-trimester bleeding. There was a 37% incidence of delivery by primary cesarean section and a 71.5% incidence of low-birth weight infants, and 77.4% of the newborn infants were admitted to the NICU. The perinatal mortality rate was 137.4 per thousand live births. Compared to postnatal neonatal transports, the neonates transported antenatally had a slightly higher mortality rate which was not statistically significant. One hundred thirty-one neonates transported antenatally could be matched in sequential order of admission with 131 neonates transported postnatally of comparable birth weights and gestational ages. Although there was a significant increase in the incidence of delivery by cesarean section among the mothers transported antenatally, the neonates in this group had a significantly lower incidence of respiratory distress syndrome and other morbidity and a shorter hospitalization. This study suggests that antenatal referral and transport of high-risk parturient patients to a regional perinatal center may significantly decrease neonatal morbidity and length of hospitalization.
Article
To examine the effects of neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patient volume and the level of NICU care available at the hospital of birth on neonatal mortality. Birth certificate data linked to infant death certificates and to infant discharge abstracts were used in a logistic regression model to control for differences in each patient's clinical and demographic risks. Hospitals were classified by the level of NICU care available (no NICU: level I; intermediate NICU: level II; expanded intermediate NICU: level II+: tertiary NICU: level III) and by the average patient census in the NICU. All nonfederal hospitals in California with maternity services. All births in nonfederal hospitals in California in 1990 (N=594104), 473209 (singletons only) of which were successfully linked with discharge abstracts. Of these infants, 53229 were classified as likely NICU admissions. Death within the first 28 days of life, or within the first year of life, if continuously hospitalized. Patient volume and level of NICU care at the hospital of birth both had significant effects on mortality. Compared with hospitals without an NICU, infants born in a hospital with a level III NICU with an average NICU census of at least 15 patients per day had significantly lower risk-adjusted neonatal mortality (odds ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.47-0.82; P=.002). Risk-adjusted neonatal mortality for infants born in smaller level III NICUs, and in level II+ and level II NICUs, regardless of size, was not significantly different from hospitals without an NICU, and was significantly higher than hospitals with large level III NICUS. Risk-adjusted neonatal mortality was significantly lower for births that occurred in hospitals with large (average census, >15 patients per day) level III NICUs. Despite the differences in outcomes, costs for the birth of infants born at hospitals with large level III NICUs were not more than those for infants born at other hospitals with NICUs. Concentration of high-risk deliveries in urban areas in a smaller number of hospitals that could provide level III NICU care has the potential to decrease neonatal mortality without increasing costs.
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine whether neonatal mortality rates for very low birth weight (500 to 1499 g) infants born in South Carolina differ by level of perinatal services available at the hospital of birth. Linked live birth certificates and infant death certificates for 1993 through 1995 were used. Birth weight-specific neonatal mortality rates among 2375 very low birth weight infants were estimated and analyzed by race and by level of perinatal services at the hospital of birth. Rates were compared with chi2 analysis. Seventy-eight percent of very low birth weight deliveries occurred in level III hospitals. The overall neonatal mortality rate was 178 deaths/1000 very low birth weight live births. Neonatal mortality rates, adjusted for birth weight and race, were significantly higher (P < .05) for infants born in level I hospitals (267 deaths/1000 live births), all level II hospitals (232 deaths/1000 live births), and level II hospitals with neonatologists (213 deaths/1000 live births) than for infants born in level III centers (146 deaths/1000 live births). Very low birth weight infants are more likely to survive if born in level III hospitals than in level I or II facilities, with or without neonatologists. Obstetric providers should support public health efforts and perinatal health systems to ensure that all women have access to a strong system of risk-appropriate perinatal care.
Article
The objective of this study was to assess the indications, appropriateness, and cost of maternal-fetal transfers to a tertiary care facility in an era of managed care. Our perinatal database was reviewed from January 1, 1996 through June 30, 1997 to determine maternal and fetal indications for transfer, referring institution characteristics, utilization of tertiary level services, and cost of transfer. There were 273 transfers from 53 referring hospitals ranging in distance from <20 miles (n = 102) to >100 miles (n = 41). Thirty-one patients were transferred by air (average cost $7656), 238 by ground (average cost $920), 4 by private car. The referring diagnosis was preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) (n = 80), preterm labor (n = 76), preeclampsia (n = 42), medical complications (n = 25), or other (n = 50). Mean gestational age (GA) at transfer was 28.5+/-5.5 weeks. Patients were referred from hospitals with a self-designated nursery level I (n = 115), II (n = 111), III (n = 45), or none (n = 2). In 42 patients, (15%) no maternal or fetal indication for hospital transfer was identified after evaluation at the tertiary center. The most common referring misdiagnoses were preterm labor (n = 25), PPROM (n = 10) and preeclampsia (n = 3). One hundred and sixty-five patients delivered during transfer admission (mean GA = 29.6+/-4.8 weeks); 79 infants (48%) required admission to a level III, and 52 (31%) to a level II nursery. Most patients require the services of a tertiary facility after maternal fetal transfer. If delivered during transfer admission, the majority of neonates require care in an intermediate or intensive care nursery.
Article
To determine the antenatal and intrapartum risk factors for intrapartum fetal death (IPFD). We analyzed 72,875 singleton deliveries > 500 g between the years 1990 and 1997. In order to find independent factors contributing to IPFD, a multiple logistic regression model was constructed. During the study period there were 64 cases of IPFD. Birth weight was inversely associated with IPFD in the multivariate analysis. Other significant factors in the multivariate analysis were mothers older than 35 years, polyhydramnios, congenital malformations, pathologic presentation, abruptio placentae and cord prolapse. No association was found with maternal diabetes or hypertension. IPFD was significantly associated with low birth weight, older maternal age, polyhydramnios, congenital malformations and pathologic presentation. Direct causes were abruptio placentae and cord prolapse. Pregnancies in older women and those complicated by polyhydramnios and pathologic presentation should be carefully evaluated during pregnancy and delivery in order to decrease the incidence of IPFD.
Article
We originally described the hospitalist model of inpatient care in 1996; since then, the model has experienced tremendous growth. This growth has important clinical, financial, educational, and policy implications. To review data regarding the effect of hospitalists on resource use, quality of care, satisfaction, and teaching; and to analyze the impact of hospitalists on the health care system and frame key issues facing the movement. We searched MEDLINE, BIOSIS, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library from 1996 to September 2001 for studies comparing hospitalist care with an appropriate control group in terms of resource use, quality, or satisfaction outcomes. We extracted information regarding study design, nature of hospitalist and control groups, analytical strategies, and key outcomes. Most studies found that implementation of hospitalist programs was associated with significant reductions in resource use, usually measured as hospital costs (average decrease, 13.4%) or average length of stay (average decrease, 16.6%). The few studies that failed to demonstrate reductions usually used atypical control groups. Although several studies found improved outcomes, such as inpatient mortality and readmission rates, these results were inconsistent. Patient satisfaction was generally preserved, while limited data supported positive effects on teaching. Although concerns about inpatient-outpatient information transfer remain, recent physician surveys indicate general acceptance of the model. Empirical research supports the premise that hospitalists improve inpatient efficiency without harmful effects on quality or patient satisfaction. Education may be improved. In part catalyzed by these data, the clinical use of hospitalists is growing rapidly, and hospitalists are also assuming prominent roles as teachers, researchers, and quality leaders. The hospitalist field has now achieved many of the attributes of traditional medical specialties and seems destined to continue to grow.
Article
To examine the relationship between prior cesarean delivery and placenta previa. A hospital-based, case-control study was conducted in which 316 multiparous women with placenta previa were identified. Controls consisted of 2051 multiparous women with spontaneous vaginal deliveries. Information on prior cesarean delivery was examined in three forms: as a dichotomous variable, as an ordinal variable, and as a set of three indicator variables for one, two, and three or more cesarean deliveries. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to obtain an adjusted estimate of this association. Women with a prior cesarean delivery were more likely to have a placenta previa than those without (odds ratio [OR] 1.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21, 2.08). The likelihood of placenta previa increased as both parity and number of cesarean deliveries increased. Thus, the adjusted OR for a primiparous woman with one cesarean delivery was 1.28 (95% CI 0.82, 1.99). For a woman who has four or more deliveries with only a single cesarean delivery, the OR increases to 1.72 (95% CI 1.12, 2.64). This trend continues with greater parity and a greater number of cesarean deliveries such that the likelihood of placenta previa for a woman with parity greater than four and greater than four cesarean deliveries was OR 8.76 (95% CI 1.58, 48.53). This study supports the association between prior cesarean delivery and placenta previa and demonstrates that the joint effect of parity and prior cesarean delivery is greater than that of either variable alone.
Article
The practice of obstetrics has changed dramatically in the last decade. Evidence exists for a marked increase in professional dissatisfaction, substance abuse, poor personal relationships, and burnout. These conditions are now being seen in younger physicians and in training programs. Physicians have stopped practicing obstetrics at a much younger age and are increasingly quitting training programs. These findings, along with the recent professional liability insurance crisis, leave many communities with a shortage of physicians who practice obstetrics. A potential solution for alleviating some of these conditions is the introduction of a physician whose sole focus of practice is managing the patient in labor. This physician, called the "laborist," may be able to improve patient care and satisfaction because the laborist will have no other distractions during this time. Also, the laborist will remove from the obstetrician the need to be always available to the laboring patient, which potentially may decrease stress, improve physician well-being, increase length of professional practice, and decrease burnout.
Article
To compare the maternal implications of strategies of vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC) attempt versus elective repeat caesarean section in women with one previous lower segment caesarean section. Decision model. Women with one prior low transverse caesarean section who are eligible for trial of labour. Two decision models were built: the first one applying to women planning only one more pregnancy, the second one applying to women planning two more pregnancies. Probability estimates for VBAC success rate and risks of uterine rupture, placenta praevia, placenta accreta and hysterectomy were extracted from the available literature. Hysterectomy for uterine rupture, placenta accreta or other indications. In the first model VBAC attempt led to a higher hysterectomy rate (267/100,000) compared with repeat caesarean section (187/100,000). However, in the second model a policy of elective repeat caesarean section led to higher cumulative hysterectomy rate: 1465/100,000 versus 907/100,000 for VBAC. The first model was robust to all but one variable in sensitivity analyses. The second model was robust to all variables in sensitivity analyses. These results indicate that long term reproductive consequences of multiple caesarean sections should be considered when making policy decisions regarding the risk-benefit ratio of VBAC.
Article
The objective of this review is to examine the long term reproductive health consequences of cesarean delivery on maternal request. In the first delivery, cesarean delivery appears to hold small risk of reproductive complications compared to vaginal delivery. Primary cesarean delivery can affect subsequent pregnancies. The most serious reproductive health consequences of prior cesarean delivery occur in subsequent pregnancies. These complications include: unexplained fetal death apparent from 34 weeks gestation onward; abnormalities of placentation which increase with a greater number of cesarean deliveries; risk of uterine rupture and uterine scar dehiscence. Primary cesarean delivery carries risk for subsequent pregnancies. While the studies reviewed do not specifically refer to cesarean delivery on request, it is likely that the results would be similar. Overall, in considering the specific question of long term reproductive health, the risks of maternal request cesarean delivery outweigh the benefits.
Article
To analyze the effect of gestational age, delivery mode, and maternal-fetal risk factors on rates of respiratory problems among infants born 34 or more weeks of gestation over a 9-year period. Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected maternal and neonatal data on all inborn births at 34 or more weeks of gestation at a single tertiary care center for the years 1990-1998. Specific diagnostic criteria were concurrently applied by a single investigator. Over the 9-year period, late-preterm births increased by 37%, whereas births at more than 40 weeks decreased by 39%, resulting in a decrease in median age at delivery from 40 weeks to 39 weeks (P<.001). Respiratory problems occurred in 705 term or late-preterm infants (4.9%), with clinically significant morbidity (respiratory distress syndrome, meconium aspiration syndrome, or pneumonia) least common at 39-40 weeks of gestation. Respiratory morbidity was greater among infants born by cesarean delivery or complicated vaginal delivery compared with uncomplicated cephalic vaginal delivery. The rate of respiratory morbidity did not change over time (1990-1992 1.3%, 1993-1995 1.5%, 1996-1998 1.4%, P=.746). The etiologic fraction for respiratory morbidity did not change over time for infants 34-36 weeks but decreased twofold for infants born after 40 weeks. Over the 9-year study period, reduced respiratory morbidity associated with decreased births after 40 weeks were offset by the adverse respiratory effect of increased cesarean delivery rates and increased late-preterm birth rates.
Article
When subjects are measured twice, once at each of two symmetrical locations or times, stability of responses in the absence of treatment within subjects, together with comparability of untreated responses between subjects, is often viewed as supporting a conclusion that differences between treated and control responses reflect effects actually caused by the treatment. The degree to which this intuitive argument is formally correct is explored in several related models: a multivariate Normal model, a nonparametric model defined by symmetries, an analogous randomized experiment, and a sensitivity analysis model for observational studies in which treatments are not randomly assigned to subjects, nor to locations within subjects. Card and Kreuger's study of the employment effects of the minimum wage is used to illustrate the methods.
Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Improving birth outcomes: meeting the challenge in the developing world
  • J H Stewart
  • J Andrews
  • P H Cartlidge
Stewart JH, Andrews J, Cartlidge PH. Numbers of deaths related to intrapartum asphyxia and timing of birth in all Wales perinatal survey, 1993-5. BMJ 1998;316:657-60. 11. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Improving birth outcomes: meeting the challenge in the developing world. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2003.
Births: Final Data for 2010
  • J A Martin
  • B E Hamilton
  • S J V Osterman
  • Mjk Wilson
  • E C Matthews
Martin JA, Hamilton BE, S.J V, Osterman MJK, Wilson EC, Matthews TJ. Births: Final Data for 2010. National Vital Statistcs Report 2012;61.