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Federal Ministry of Health starts research projects on Caesarean sections


Physicians should create guidelines for decision-making in caesarean sections
In a so-called cesarean section, the fetus is surgically removed from the uterus. Experts have been discussing the sharp rise in caesarean sections for a long time. The Federal Ministry of Health has now awarded four research projects on the topic of caesarean sections. The results obtained should be used as scientifically based decision-making aids for medical professionals.

Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe reports on the decision of the Federal Ministry of Health to award four research projects on the topic of Caesarean sections: A Caesarean section is an operative procedure. This entails health risks for both the mother and the child. Therefore caesarean sections should only be performed if they are really medically necessary. The now high Caesarean section rate in Germany and of course also in many other countries raise questions.

Is there really a medical need for all of the caesarean sections? A question that in many cases can probably be answered with “No”. It is therefore important that the medical societies and experts develop a kind of guideline that will provide a scientific basis in the future when deciding on a caesarean section, says Gröhe. The four research projects commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Health are now to help pregnant women receive better and more comprehensive information about caesarean sections and the associated dangers. Both pregnant women and their doctors should only make their decision to protect mother and child on the basis of a good scientific foundation, explains Gröhe.

The four subject areas of the research project:
The four research projects had a total order volume of 150,000 euros. They should deal with the most important supply issues in four different subject areas:

1. Counseling pregnant women
2. The planned time of a caesarean section
3. Measures that can be taken to counter dangers during caesarean section
4. The condition of the woman after her caesarean section

Experts want to create so-called interdisciplinary S3 guideline caesarean sections
The contractors for the four research projects are the Institute for Research in Operative Medicine, University of Witten-Herdecke and the Institute Cochrane Germany in Freiburg. The results of the research projects should then flow into the so-called "interdisciplinary S3 guideline caesarean sections". The Federal Ministry of Health explains this in the press release, which is currently being drawn up by the responsible specialist societies.

Almost every third child in Germany is born by Caesarean section
Although there are some critical views on Caesarean sections, almost every third child in Germany is born by Caesarean section. But experts want to go back to natural birth, caesarean sections should be the exception. So if the question arises: Caesarean section or natural birth, women should choose the natural way if possible.

Complications from vaginal birth complications are sometimes severe
Many women choose a caesarean section because they are afraid of the pain of a natural birth, doctors report. There are of course exceptions where a natural birth should be avoided. For example, if complications are expected during the birth process. The consequences of massive complications in vaginal births can be serious for the mother and especially for the child. In contrast, such incidents occur very rarely during caesarean section.

Many Caesarean sections are accounted for as an emergency operation
There are many reasons for a caesarean section: If the baby is lying in the pelvic position or is too big for the maternal pelvis, a caesarean section should definitely be performed, experts explain. But apparently, doctors too often recommend surgery instead of a natural birth process. Another reason for the increase in caesarean sections could be the billing system of clinics. In 2009, it became known that hospitals could bill more for emergency Caesarean sections than for a planned Caesarean section. Since then, hospitals in Germany seem to be accounting for their Caesarean section births more and more as expensive emergency surgical procedures. (as)

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