The role of caesarean section in modern Obstetrics

Alessandra Meloni, Alessandro Loddo, Konstantinos Martsidis, Sara F. Deiana, Daniela Porru, Antonello Antonelli, Donatella Marongiu, Bruno Piras, Anna M. Paoletti, Gian Benedetto Melis


Caesarean section (CS) is a safe obstetric surgical procedure that contributes to reducing maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Nevertheless, its advantages do not justify its continuous increase. During the last few years an average of 35% of deliveries have occurred by CS in Italy whereas an average of 20-25% is very common in other western countries. Although these percentages are very different, an important issue of modern obstetric Medicine is to ascertain whether the threshold of 15% proposed by the WHO in 1985 is actually adequate. Different medical, cultural, social, economic and medico-legal issues are of concern in the different countries and in contemporary society compared with the past. If we wish to discuss whether a new threshold should be proposed to reach the best balance between risks and benefits of CS in modern Obstetrics, it is mandatory to evaluate the reasons why these high percentages of CS occur in western countries and, in particular, in Italy. To reach this goal an optimal management of the delivery room should be pursued by implementing an organizational program, considering the objective delivery trend (Robson’s ten group classification) and organizing continuous audit processes. The potential concern for the medico-legal issue, women’s choice and the use of analgesia in childbirth must be taken into account.


Caesarean section; ten group classification; audit; defensive Medicine

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