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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Techniques for assisting difficult delivery at caesarean section

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2016
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  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (67th percentile)

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Techniques for assisting difficult delivery at caesarean section
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004944.pub3
Pubmed ID

Heather Waterfall, Rosalie M Grivell, Jodie M Dodd


Caesarean section involves making an incision in the woman's abdomen and cutting through the uterine muscle. The baby is then delivered through that incision. Difficult caesarean birth may result in injury for the infant or complications for the mother. Methods to assist with delivery include vacuum or forceps extraction or manual delivery utilising fundal pressure. Medication that relaxes the uterus (tocolytic medication) may facilitate the birth of the baby at caesarean section. Delivery of the impacted head after prolonged obstructed labour can be associated with significant maternal and neonatal complication; to facilitate delivery of the head the surgeon may utilise either reverse breech extraction or head pushing. To compare the use of tocolysis (routine or selective use) with no use of tocolysis or placebo and to compare different extraction methods at the time of caesarean section for outcomes of infant birth trauma, maternal complications (particularly postpartum haemorrhage requiring blood transfusion), and long-term measures of infant and childhood morbidity. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (30 September 2015) and reference lists of retrieved studies. All published, unpublished, and ongoing randomised controlled trials comparing the use of tocolytic agents (routine or selective) at caesarean section versus no use of tocolytic or placebo at caesarean section to facilitate the birth of the baby. Use of instrument versus manual delivery to facilitate birth of the baby. Reverse breech extraction versus head pushing to facilitate delivery of the deeply impacted fetal head. Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias, extracted data and checked them for accuracy. Seven randomised controlled trials, involving 582 women undergoing caesarean section were included in this review. The risk of bias of included trials was variable, with some trials not adequately describing allocation or randomisation.Three comparisons were included. 1. Tocolysis versus no tocolysisA single randomised trial involving 97 women was identified and included in the review. Birth trauma was not reported. There were no cases of any maternal side-effect reported in either the nitroglycerin or the placebo group. No other maternal and infant health outcomes were reported. 2. Reverse breech extraction versus head push for the deeply impacted head at full dilation at caesarean section Four randomised trials involving 357 women were identified and included in the review. The primary outcome of birth trauma was reported by three trials and there was no difference between reverse breech extraction and head push for this rare outcome (three studies, 239 women, risk ratio (RR) 1.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.42 to 5.73). Secondary outcomes including endometritis rate (three studies, 285 women, average RR 0.52, 95% CI 0.26 to 1.05, Tau I² = 0.22, I² = 56%), extension of uterine incision (four studies, 357 women, average RR 0.23, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.40), mean blood loss (three studies, 298 women, mean difference (MD) -294.92, 95% CI -493.25 to -96.59; I² = 98%) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)/special care nursery (SCN) admission (two studies, 226 babies, average RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.23 to 1.22, Tau I² = 0.27, I² = 74%) were decreased with reverse breech extraction. No differences were observed between groups for many of the other secondary outcomes reported (blood loss > 500 mL; blood transfusion; wound infection; mean hospital stay; average Apgar score).There was significant heterogeneity between the trials for the outcomes mean blood loss, operative time and mean hospital stay, making comparison difficult. However the operation duration was significantly shorter for reverse breech extraction, which may correspond with ease of delivery and therefore, the amount of tissue trauma and therefore, significantly less blood loss. Given the heterogeneity, we cannot define the amount of difference in blood loss, operative time or hospital stay however. 3. Instrument (vacuum or forceps) versus manual extraction at elective caesarean section Two randomised trials involving 128 women were identified and included in the review. Only one trial reported maternal and infant health outcomes as prespecified in this review. This trial reported birth trauma as an outcome but there were no instances of birth trauma in either comparison group. There were no differences found in mean fall in haemoglobin (Hb) between groups (one study, 44 women, MD 0.03, 95% CI -0.53 to 0.59), or in uterine incision extension (one study, 44 women, RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.13 to 3.73). There is currently insufficient information available from randomised trials to support or refute the routine or selective use of tocolytic agents or instrument to facilitate infant birth at the time of difficult caesarean section. There is limited evidence that reverse breech extraction may improve maternal and fetal outcomes, though there was no difference in primary outcome of infant birth trauma. Further randomised controlled trials are needed to answer these questions.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 308 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Ethiopia 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Norway 1 <1%
Unknown 305 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 39 13%
Researcher 26 8%
Student > Ph. D. Student 23 7%
Student > Bachelor 21 7%
Student > Postgraduate 16 5%
Other 61 20%
Unknown 122 40%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 95 31%
Nursing and Health Professions 35 11%
Psychology 13 4%
Social Sciences 11 4%
Computer Science 4 1%
Other 18 6%
Unknown 132 43%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 20 August 2018.
All research outputs
of 25,738,558 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 13,137 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 408,635 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 250 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,738,558 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 66th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 13,137 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 35.9. This one is in the 26th percentile – i.e., 26% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 408,635 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 67% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 250 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 21st percentile – i.e., 21% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.