Perimortem Caesarean Section: 2 Cases performed in New Zealand Hospitals

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(Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 2016;56(6):662–665)

Cardiac disease in pregnancy is a leading cause of indirect death in developed countries. Because the gravid uterus can impair chest compression effectiveness, ventilation, and venous return to the heart during resuscitation efforts during cardiac arrest, it is recommended that perimortem cesarean section (PMCS) be undertaken in such situations, in order to improve resuscitation efforts. The current guideline advises that PMCS be considered at 4 minutes of resuscitation if spontaneous circulation has not been restored, with the goal of delivering the fetus within 1 to 2 minutes. Although PMCS is relatively rare (it is estimated that PMCS is necessary every 53,000 maternities) it is still crucial that clinicians are trained to detect and intervene when PMCS is required. The present case report discussed 2 of 8 PMCS performed in New Zealand hospitals between 2006 and 2013.

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