A recent article posted at Medical News Today looks at a recent study reported in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology looks at increases in post pregnancy complications associated with increases in Caesarean sections.

Pregnancy Complications Rise

The journal article focused on a review of hospital database files from 2005 from 37 states in the U.S.  The review looked specifically at the relationship between increased c-section procedures and related complication rates.

In that review of reported complications, an increase in the following post pregnancy complications was seen:

  • 90% increase in need for blood transfusions
  • 50% increase in pulmonary embolisms
  • 20% increase in kidney failure
  • 20% increase in respiratory disease
  • 20% increase in shock
  • 20% increase in ventilated patients

The authors of the article urged a continued review of the incidence of these complications and further study of the apparent rise in these complications.  While these factors remain low then increase is deemed significant.

Nurses and Pregnancy Care

What can nurses take away from this?  Nurses with pregnant patients and recently pregnant patients should be aware of the increased incidence of these specific complications associated with c-sections.  Patients with a recent history of c-section seen in the E.R. or other health care settings should be also evaluated for these other complications that might occur even a few days or weeks later.

Patients and their families should be well educated about the risks involved in child birth procedures.  New mothers need to be advised of warning signs of complications and when to contact their doctors.  This is also an arena that is ripe for telenursing follow-up.  A nursing follow-up call is an inexpensive way to touch base with patients, listen to their concerns, and remind them of signs and symptoms to watch out for.

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