Research Article

Obstetric care in the central Canadian Arctic.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 07 October 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:1001
  1. T F Baskett


    All pregnancies that occurred during 1971-5 among 4000 Canadian Eskimos living in isolated settlements in a district of the North-west Territories were reviewed. Obstetric care was provided in settlement nursing stations, at a base hospital manned by general practitioners, and at a teaching hospital in Winnipeg. Of the 622 infants delivered in 1971-5 218 were delivered in nursing stations by midwives, 338 in the base hospital, and 54 in the teaching hospital. Caesarean sections were performed in 10 cases, and the perinatal mortality was 25.7 per 1000 births. Though it is hard to defend patients delivering their babies in remote areas with no medical help, the results seemed to be acceptable. The credit for this goes to experienced midwives, a liberal evacuation policy, close co-operation from general practitioners, and the specialist visiting and consulting service.