Research Article

Which deliveries require paediatricians in attendance?

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 07 July 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:16
  1. R A Primhak,
  2. S M Herber,
  3. G Whincup,
  4. R D Milner


    The mode of delivery and one minute Apgar score were taken from the neonatal records of 2086 full term infants born at one obstetric unit over 12 months. There were 1554 spontaneous vaginal vertex deliveries, 26 vaginal breech deliveries, and 506 operative or instrumental deliveries. The obstetric records of the operative deliveries were reviewed to determine whether fetal distress had been an indication for intervention, and the obstetric records of the spontaneous vaginal vertex deliveries were also reviewed for fetal distress detected antenatally. When fetal distress was present antenatally in spontaneous vaginal vertex deliveries the frequency of a one minute Apgar score below 7 was 10.2%. In operative and instrumental deliveries where fetal distress was the indication for intervention the frequency of one a minute Apgar score below 7 was 15.6% after non-rotational forceps delivery, 13.9% after rotational forceps delivery, and 45.8% after caesarean section. In the absence of fetal distress the frequency of an Apgar score below 7 was 2.4% after spontaneous deliveries, 7.1% after non-rotational forceps delivery, 13.2% after caesarean section, and 18.4% after rotational forceps delivery. The presence of fetal distress considerably increased the frequency of an Apgar score below 7 in each category except rotational forceps deliveries. Paediatric services to an obstetric unit may be organised rationally in the light of local staffing conditions with the help of these findings.