Identifying problems with data collection at a local level: survey of NHS maternity units in England.
OBJECTIVES: To document the extent to which maternity data are collected and how they are recorded, and to identify problems that may affect their availability throughout the NHS. METHODS: Postal survey in September 1997 with structured questionnaires. SETTING: 207 NHS trusts with maternity units in England. PARTICIPANTS: Heads of midwifery in maternity units. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Extent to which maternity data were routinely recorded, how they were recorded and evaluated, and to whom they were made available. RESULTS: 167 (81%) of questionnaires were returned, representing 166 trusts. Of these trusts, 165 collected >/=17 of the 19 data items in HES maternity tail, and 158 collected >/=40 of the 45 items selected from Korner dataset. Only 18 collected all five items selected from the "indicators of success," and 17 did not collect any. In 58 of trusts data were primarily recorded on paper. A computerised maternity information system was used by 106 (63%) of trusts, but many recorded data on paper first. Thirty four did not audit data for accuracy. Most trusts analysed data not routinely collected at national level, but 18 did not analyse HES maternity tail and 17 did not analyse Korner data. CONCLUSIONS: Improvement is needed in quality, completeness, and availability of maternity data at a national level, particularly if the NHS information strategy is to be successfully implemented. Although most of the data items in national datasets are recorded locally, variations in the way data are defined, recorded, and analysed and lack of linkage between computer systems restrict their access, availability, and use at local, district, and national levels. (+info)
A survey of congenital Chagas' disease, carried out at three health institutions in Sao Paulo City, Brazil.
The congenital transmission of Chagas' disease was evaluated in 57 pregnant women with Chagas' disease and their 58 offspring. The patients were selected from three Health Institutions in Sao Paulo City. The maternal clinical forms of Chagas' disease were: indeterminate (47.4%), cardiac (43.8%) and digestive (8.8%); 55 were born in endemic areas and two in Sao Paulo City. The transmission of Chagas' disease at fetal level was confirmed in three (5.17%) of the 58 cases studied and one probably case of congenital Chagas' disease. Two infected infants were born to chagasic women with HIV infection and were diagnosed by parasitological assays (microhematocrit, quantitative buffy coat-QBC or artificial xenodiagnosis). In both cases the placenta revealed T. cruzi and HIV p24 antigens detected by immunohistochemistry. In one case, a 14-week old abortus, the diagnosis of congenital T. cruzi infection was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. The other probable infection, a 30-week old stillborn, the parasites were found in the placenta and umbilical cord. The Western blot method using trypomastigote excreted/secreted antigens of T. cruzi (TESA) was positive for IgG antibodies in 54/55 newborns and for IgM in 1/55 newborns. One of the two newborns with circulating parasites had no detectable IgG or IgM antibodies. The assessment of IgG antibodies in the sera of pregnant women and their newborns was performed by ELISA using two different T. cruzi antigens: an alkaline extract of epimastigotes (EAE) and trypomastigote excreted/secreted antigens (TESA). The analysis showed a linear correlation between maternal and newborn IgG antibody titers at birth. (+info)
Proximity to maternity services and stillbirth risk.
A study of all 77 995 live births and 1234 stillbirths to mothers living in West Cumbria from 1950 to 1989 found no significant increase in stillbirth risk with distance of mother's residence from the first or second nearest maternity services, after allowing for year of birth, father's social class, and birth order. (+info)
Economic activity and congenital anomalies: an ecologic study in Argentina. ECLAMC ECOTERAT Group.
In this study, we analyze the association between industrial activity and the occurrence of 34 congenital anomalies. We selected 21 counties in Argentina during 1982-1994 and examined a total of 614,796 births in these counties in consecutive series. We used the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (United Nations, 1968) as an indicator of exposure to 80 specific industrial activities. Incidence rate ratios for each congenital anomaly were adjusted by the socioeconomic level of the county according to a census index of social deprivation. For a given exposure/anomaly association to be considered as significant and relevant, the exposure had to be a statistically significant risk for the occurrence of the anomaly and an increase in the birth prevalence rate of the congenital anomaly type involved had to be observed in those counties where the putative causal activity was being performed. Significant associations (p < 0.01) were identified between textile industry and anencephaly, and between the manufacture of engines and turbines and microcephaly. These observations are consistent with previous reports on occupational exposure, and their further investigation by means of case-control studies is recommended. (+info)
Management of pregnancy in a university hospital: a 6-year study.
In order to evaluate the obstetric care in the Obstetric Clinic of the Gynaecology and Obstetrics Department of University of Sao Paulo, the authors present a survey of the management of pregnancy during the 6-year period from 1993 to 1998. The number of deliveries increased during the study by 45% over the 6 years. During this same period the number of fetal deaths was 526 (4.48%), but there was a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in the incidence of fetal death. However, there was no concomitant increase in the proportion of pregnant women with prenatal care that could explain this improvement. Incidence of premature labor also decreased considerably. The authors believe that the increment in the number of deliveries was due mainly to the increasing number of pregnant women referred to our service. The efforts made by the service towards decreasing the time of hospitalization of both newborns in the nursery and the mothers in the hospital made this possible. Despite the increasing number of deliveries, there was a significant improvement in the management of pregnancy during the period of study. This improvement may be a consequence of the standardization of a protocol of management of pregnancy based on the recent progress in scientific and technological knowledge. (+info)
The general practitioner and changes in obstetric practice.
Compared with the 1960s fewer general practitioners today are obtaining a postgraduate diploma in obstetrics, and the future more stringent criteria for practitioners wishing to undertake this will probably restrict the numbers of family doctors wishing to practise in this field. More deliveries are being performed in institutions--either in consultant or general-practitioner units. Morever, within a decade probably few G.P.s will attend during normal labour or delivery, which can and should be conducted by midwives. In future, therefore, G.P.s should have a new role in obstetrics, being responsible for some antenatal supervision and postnatal care, including postnatal examinations, taking a cervical smear, and advice on birth control. (+info)
Use by general practitioners of obstetric beds in a consultant unit: a further report.
Of 1,700 women booked for delivery by general practitioner obstetricians in a consultant unit, 1,399 had uncomplicated deliveries and the co-operation between practitioner and consultant was an obvious advantage for the 257 who were transferred completely to consultant care during pregnancy, labour, or puerperium. The scheme, which started in 1964, has enabled general practitioners to continue to give complete obstetric care to their patients. The number of participating practitioners has, however, declined from 80 to 16 indicating that many preferred to concentrate on antenatal work. (+info)
Breastfeeding training for health professionals and resultant changes in breastfeeding duration.
CONTEXT: Promotion of breastfeeding in Brazilian maternity hospitals. OBJECTIVE: To quantify changes in the breastfeeding duration among mothers served by hospitals exposed to the Wellstart-SLC course, comparing them with changes among mothers attended by institutions not exposed to this course. DESIGN: Randomized Institutional Trial. SETTING: The effects of training on breastfeeding duration was assessed in eight Brazilian hospitals assigned at random to either an exposed group (staff attending the Wellstart-SLC course) or a control group. SAMPLE: For each of the eight study hospitals, two cohorts of about 50 children were visited at home at one and six months after birth. The first cohort (n = 494) was composed of babies born in the month prior to exposure to the Wellstart-SLC course, and the second cohort (n = 476) was composed of babies born six months subsequent to this exposure. MAIN MEASUREMENTS: Kaplan-Meier curves were plotted to describe the weaning process and log-rank tests were used to assess statistical differences among survival curves. Hazard ratio (HR) estimates were calculated by fitting Cox proportional hazard regression models to the data. RESULTS: The increases in estimated, adjusted rates for children born in hospitals with trained personnel were 29% (HR = 0.71) and 20% (HR = 0.80) for exclusive and full breastfeeding, respectively. No changes were identified for total breastfeeding. CONCLUSION: This randomized trial supports a growing body of evidence that training hospital health professionals in breastfeeding promotion and protection results in an increase in breastfeeding duration. (+info)