Objective To study the effect of a departmental program designed to shorten the decision-to-delivery interval (DDI) for emergency cesarean section (ECS) for nonreassuring fetal heart rate (NRFHR) on maternal and neonatal outcome. Study Design A protocol for managing ECS that included documenting precise time-intervals, identification of delaying obstacles and debriefing of each case, was implemented from March 2011. All women who delivered by ECS for NRFHR, as the only indication were included. Detailed information regarding DDI, maternal intraoperative and postoperative complications, and neonatal early outcomes were compared before (period-P1) (-27 months) and after (period 2) (+27 months) program implementation. Results During 54 months of study, 593 ECS DDI were included. Mean DDI decreased at period 2 (12.3 ± 3.8 min, n = 301) compared with period 1 (21.7 ± 9.1 min, n = 292), P <.001. Rate of cord pH ≤7.1 and 5 min Apgar score ≤7 decreased at period 2 compared with period 1, P =.016 and P =.031, respectively. Worse composite neonatal outcome decreased at period 2 compared with period 1, 15.6% vs 32.2%, respectively, P ≥.001. Composite maternal outcome did not differ between the groups. Worse neonatal outcome was dependent on time period (period 1), odds ratio, 2.12; 95% confidence interval, 1.27-3.55; P =.004 and on gestational age at delivery, odds ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.62-0.76; P <.001. Conclusion Introduction of a management protocol to shorten DDI in ECS for NRFHR was associated with improved early neonatal outcome without change in maternal complications.
- decision-to-delivery interval
- emergent cesarean section
- nonreassuring fetal heart rate