Decision-to-Delivery Interval and Obstetric Outcomes of Emergency Caesarean Sections in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital




Background: Prolonged Decision-to-Delivery interval (DDI) is associated with adverse maternal-foetal outcomes following emergency Caesarean section (EmCS).

Objective: To determine the DDI, predictive factors, and the foeto-maternal outcomes of patients that had EmCS in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital.

Methods: A descriptive study of all EmCS performed at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, Nigeria, from 1st June 2020 to 31st May 2021, was conducted. Relevant data were extracted from the documentations of doctors, nurses and anaesthetists using a designed proforma. The data obtained were analysed using the IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 25.

Results: The median (IQR) DDI was 297 (175-434) minutes. Only one patient was delivered within the recommended DDI of 30 minutes. The most common cause of prolonged DDI was delay in procuring materials for CS by patients’ relatives(s)/caregiver(s) (264, 85.2%). Repeat CS (AOR = 4.923, 95% CI 1.09-22.36; p = 0.039), prolonged decision-to-operating room time (AOR = 8.22, 95% CI 1.87-8.66; p<0.001), and junior cadre of surgeon (AOR = 25.183, 95% CI 2.698-35.053; p = 0.005) were significant predictors of prolonged DDI. Prolonged DDI > 150 minutes was significantly associated with maternal morbidity (p = 0.001), stillbirth (p = 0.008) and early neonatal death (p = 0.049).

Conclusion: The recommended DDI of 30 minutes for CS is challenging in the setting studied. To improve foeto-maternal outcomes, efforts to reduce the DDI should be pursued vigorously, using the recommended 30 minutes as a benchmark.


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