Use of a standard algorithm significantly reduced the time from decision to incision in urgent, unscheduled cesarean deliveries, based on data from more than 600 procedures.
No specific recommended decision-to-incision time exists for cases of unscheduled, nonemergent cesarean deliveries, although a target of 30 minutes is recommended for emergent deliveries, Lina T. Bernal, MD, of Boston University and colleagues wrote.
The researchers developed a quality improvement project in which a multidisciplinary team defined which unscheduled cesarean deliveries should qualify as urgent, and identified a goal of 40 minutes or less for decision-to-incision time in these cases.
“We defined urgent, unscheduled cesarean delivery as cesarean delivery in patients with the following diagnoses: active phase arrest at 6 cm or greater, category II fetal heart rate tracing during labor requiring delivery per the Shields algorithm, but not meeting emergent category III criteria, any unscheduled cesarean delivery complicated by chorioamnionitis, and failed trial of labor after cesarean,” they wrote.
In a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, the researchers compared times from decision to incision before and after the implementation of a multidisciplinary algorithm. The study included 199 urgent, unscheduled deliveries in a single center between May 2019 and November 2019, and implementation period with 283 deliveries from December 2019 to September 2020, and a postimplementation period with 160 deliveries between October 2020 and May 2021.
The primary outcome was the mean time from decision to incision; secondary outcomes were neonatal status based on 5-minute Apgar score and quantitative blood loss during delivery.
Overall, the mean decision-to-incision time improved from 88 minutes during the preimplementation period to 50 minutes in the postimplementation period.
For Black non-Hispanic patients, the mean decision-to-incision time improved from 98 minutes during the preimplementation period to 50 minutes in the postimplementation period. Similarly, mean times among Hispanic patients decreased from 84 minutes to 49 minutes during the pre- and postimplementation periods, respectively.
No significant improvement in decision-to-incision time was noted among patients in other racial and ethnic groups.
In cases of cesarean delivery for fetal indications, 5-minute Apgar scores were significantly higher in the postimplementation period compared with the preimplementation period (8.5 vs. 8.8, P
No significant associations appeared between maternal quantitative blood loss and the implementation of the algorithm across treatment periods.
Over the course of the study, adjustments to the algorithm included clarification of the criteria, streamlined communication, and expanded use of resources. “There are no prior studies regarding the effects of creation of an urgent category on decision-to-incision time or maternal or neonatal outcomes,” the researchers wrote. “As a result of improved outcomes and appreciation of a standardized approach, the urgent cesarean delivery designation has been incorporated into the labor unit work flow.”
The findings were limited by several factors including the retrospective design, use of data from a single medical center, and the inability to address confounding variables such as age, parity, body mass index, time of delivery, and staffing, the researchers noted. Other limitations include a lack of data on measures of maternal morbidity beyond quantitative blood loss and other neonatal morbidities, and lack of data on patient satisfaction.
However, the results support the use of a standard algorithm to successfully reduce decision-to-incision time in urgent and unscheduled cesarean deliveries, and next steps for further improvement of care should identify which patients are most likely to benefit from a more rapid delivery, the researchers concluded.
The study received no outside funding. The researchers had no financial conflicts to disclose.
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
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Publish date : 2023-11-17 20:04:22
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