Background The recent merge of the maternity services of Wycombe General Hospital and Stoke Mandeville Hospital resulted in the formation of two midwifery-led centres in addition to a delivery suite (DS) where there is 24 h obstetric cover. The free standing birthing centre in Wycombe (WBC) is 16 miles away from the DS, whereas Aylesbury Birth Centre (ABC) is on the same site.
Study Objective A retrospective analysis of intrapartum transfers from both birth centres to the DS in their first 3 months of opening (October–December 2009). Aspects analysed were number, reason for and outcome of transfers.
Results and Discussion A significantly higher number of patients were transferred from ABC to DS when compared to those from WBC (70 vs 16). For both sites, the majority were primiparous (~80%). The main reasons for transfer were similar in both sites: requests for epidural, meconium-stained liquor and failure to progress in second stage. However, the percentage transferred due to requests for pain relief was more than double from ABC (37% vs 17%). The authors postulate that this difference may be due to the close proximity of ABC to DS, with therefore easier access to anaesthetic services. Other reasons for transfer included requirement for augmentation, audible decelerations of the fetal heart, undiagnosed breech, intrapartum haemorrhage and cord prolapse.
The outcome of transfers from both units were similar with 60% of transfers from ABC requiring intervention in the form of instrumental deliveries or Caesarean Sections compared to 67% from WBC.
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