Risks and benefits of caesarean section.

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A prospective cohort study, within the 2005 WHO global survey on maternal and perinatal health, has assessed the risks and benefits associated with caesarean delivery compared with vaginal delivery.

The main outcome measures were maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality associated with intrapartum or elective caesarean delivery.

Carried out in eight Latin American countries, 106,546 deliveries at 410 health facilities were reported on during the three month study. Women undergoing caesarean delivery had an increased risk of severe maternal morbidity compared with women undergoing vaginal delivery. With breech presentation, caesarean delivery had a large protective effect for fetal death. The results were adjusted for...

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