Factors predisposing to perinatal death related to uterine rupture during attempted vaginal birth after caesarean section: retrospective cohort study
Gordon C S Smith, professor1, Jill P Pell, consultant2, Dharmintra Pasupathy, specialist registrar3, Richard Dobbie, senior statistician4
1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, 2 Department of Public Health, Greater Glasgow NHS Board, Glasgow G3 8YU, 3 Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Addenbrooke's NHS Trust, Cambridge CB2 2SW, 4 Information and Statistics Division, Common Services Agency, Edinburgh EH5 3SE
Objective To determine the factors associated with an increased risk of perinatal death related to uterine rupture during attempted vaginal birth after caesarean section.
Design Population based retrospective cohort study.
Setting Data from the linked Scottish Morbidity Record and Stillbirth and Infant Death Survey of births in Scotland, 1985-98.
Participants All women with one previous caesarean delivery who gave birth to a singleton infant at term by a means other than planned repeat caesarean section (n = 35 854).
Main outcome measures All intrapartum uterine rupture and uterine rupture resulting in perinatal death (that is, death of the fetus or neonate).
Results The overall proportion of vaginal births was 74.2% and of uterine rupture was 0.35%. The risk of intrapartum uterine rupture was higher among women who had not previously given birth vaginally (adjusted odds ratio 2.5, 95% confidence interval 1.6 to 3.9, P with prostaglandin (2.9, 2.0 to 4.3, P were also associated with an increased risk of perinatal death due to uterine rupture. Delivery in a hospital with births a year did not increase the overall risk of uterine rupture (1.1, 0.8 to 1.5, P = 0.67). However, the risk of perinatal death due to uterine rupture was significantly higher in hospitals with with 3000 births a year (one per 4700; 3.4, 1.0 to 14.3, P = 0.04).
Conclusion Women who have not previously given birth vaginally and those whose labour is induced with prostaglandin are at increased risk of uterine rupture when attempting vaginal birth after caesarean section. The risk of consequent death of the infant is higher in units with lower annual numbers of births.
Source: BMJ 2004;329:375 (14 August)