Duration and urgency of transfer in births planned at home and in freestanding midwifery units in England: secondary analysis of the birthplace national prospective cohort study.
ABSTRACT: In England, there is a policy of offering healthy women with straightforward pregnancies a choice of birth setting. Options may include home or a freestanding midwifery unit (FMU). Transfer rates from these settings are around 20%, and higher for nulliparous women. The duration of transfer is of interest because of the potential for delay in access to specialist care and is also of concern to women. We aimed to estimate the duration of transfer in births planned at home and in FMUs and explore the effects of distance and urgency on duration.This was a secondary analysis of data collected in a national prospective cohort study including 27,842 'low risk' women with singleton, term, 'booked' pregnancies, planning birth in FMUs or at home in England from April 2008 to April 2010. We described transfer duration using the median and interquartile range, for all transfers and those for reasons defined as potentially urgent or non-urgent, and used cumulative distribution curves to compare transfer duration by urgency. We explored the effect of distance for transfers from FMUs and described outcomes in women giving birth within 60 minutes of transfer.The median overall transfer time, from decision to transfer to first OU assessment, was shorter in transfers from home compared with transfers from FMUs (49 vs 60 minutes; p?
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To compare perinatal and maternal morbidity and birth interventions in low-risk women giving birth in two freestanding midwifery units (FMUs) and two obstetric units (OUs).<h4>Design</h4>A cohort study with a matched control group.<h4>Setting</h4>The region of North Jutland, Denmark.<h4>Participants</h4>839 low-risk women intending FMU birth and a matched control group of 839 low-risk women intending OU birth were included at the start of care in labour. OU women were individually chosen to match selected obstetric/socio-economic characteristics of FMU women. Analysis was by intention to treat.<h4>Main outcome measures</h4>Perinatal and maternal morbidity and interventions.<h4>Results</h4>No significant differences in perinatal morbidity were observed between groups (Apgar scores <7/5, <9/5 or <7/1, admittance to neonatal unit, asphyxia or readmission). Adverse outcomes were rare and occurred in both groups. FMU women were significantly less likely to experience an abnormal fetal heart rate (RR: 0.3, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.5), fetal-pelvic complications (0.2, 0.05 to 0.6), shoulder dystocia (0.3, 0.1 to 0.9), occipital-posterior presentation (0.5, 0.3 to 0.9) and postpartum haemorrhage >500 ml (0.4, 0.3 to 0.6) compared with OU women. Significant reductions were found for the FMU group's use of caesarean section (0.6, 0.3 to 0.9), instrumental delivery (0.4, 0.3 to 0.6), and oxytocin augmentation (0.5, 0.3 to 0.6) and epidural analgesia (0.4, 0.3 to 0.6). Transfer during or <2 h after birth occurred in 14.8% of all FMU births but more frequently in primiparas than in multiparas (36.7% vs 7.2%).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Comparing FMU and OU groups, there was no increase in perinatal morbidity, but there were significantly reduced incidences of maternal morbidity, birth interventions including caesarean section, and increased likelihood of spontaneous vaginal birth. FMU care may be considered as an adequate alternative to OU care for low-risk women. Pregnant prospective mothers should be given an informed choice of place of birth, including information on transfer.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Immersion in water during labour is an important non-pharmacological method to manage labour pain, particularly in midwifery-led care settings where pharmacological methods are limited. This study investigates the association between immersion for pain relief and transfer before birth and other maternal outcomes.<h4>Methods</h4>A prospective cohort study of 16,577 low risk nulliparous women planning birth at home, in a freestanding midwifery unit (FMU) or in an alongside midwifery unit (AMU) in England between April 2008 and April 2010.<h4>Results</h4>Immersion in water for pain relief was common; 50% in planned home births, 54% in FMUs and 38% in AMUs. Immersion in water was associated with a lower risk of transfer before birth for births planned at home (adjusted RR 0.88; 95% CI 0.79-0.99), in FMUs (adjusted RR 0.59; 95% CI 0.50-0.70) and in AMUs (adjusted RR 0.78; 95% CI 0.69-0.88). For births planned in FMUs, immersion in water was associated with a lower risk of intrapartum caesarean section (RR 0.61; 95% CI 0.44-0.84) and a higher chance of a straightforward vaginal birth (RR 1.09; 95% CI 1.04-1.15). These beneficial effects were not seen in births planned at home or AMUs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Immersion of water for pain relief was associated with a significant reduction in risk of transfer before birth for nulliparous women. Overall, immersion in water was associated with fewer interventions during labour. The effect varied across birth settings with least effect in planned home births and a larger effect observed for planned FMU births.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>English maternity care policy has supported offering women choice of birth setting for over twenty years, but only 13% of women in England currently give birth in settings other than obstetric units (OUs). It is unclear why uptake of non-OU settings for birth remains relatively low. This paper presents a synthesis of qualitative evidence which explores influences on women's experiences of birth place choice, preference and decision-making from the perspectives of women using maternity services.<h4>Methods</h4>Qualitative evidence synthesis of UK research published January 1992-March 2015, using a 'best-fit' framework approach. Searches were run in seven electronic data bases applying a comprehensive search strategy. Thematic framework analysis was used to synthesise extracted data from included studies.<h4>Results</h4>Twenty-four papers drawing on twenty studies met the inclusion criteria. The synthesis identified support for the key framework themes. Women's experiences of choosing or deciding where to give birth were influenced by whether they received information about available options and about the right to choose, women's preferences for different services and their attributes, previous birth experiences, views of family, friends and health care professionals and women's beliefs about risk and safety. The synthesis additionally identified that women's access to choice of place of birth during the antenatal period varied. Planning to give birth in OU was straightforward, but although women considering birth in a setting other than hospital OU were sometimes well-supported, they also encountered obstacles and described needing to 'counter the negativity' surrounding home birth or birth in midwife-led settings.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Over the period covered by the review, it was straightforward for low risk women to opt for hospital birth in the UK. Accessing home birth was more complex and contested. The evidence on freestanding midwifery units (FMUs) is more limited, but suggests that women wanting to opt for an FMU birth experienced similar barriers. The extent to which women experienced similar problems accessing alongside midwifery units (AMUs) is unclear. Women's preferences for different birth options, particularly for 'hospital' vs non-hospital settings, are shaped by their pre-existing values, beliefs and experience, and not all women are open to all birth settings.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To compare vaginal birth rates in women planning vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) at home versus in an obstetric unit (OU) and explore transfer rates in women planning home VBAC.<h4>Design</h4>Prospective cohort study.<h4>Setting</h4>OUs and planned home births in England.<h4>Population</h4>1436 women planning VBAC in the Birthplace cohort, including 209 planning home VBAC.<h4>Methods</h4>We used Poisson regression to calculate relative risks adjusted for maternal characteristics.<h4>Main outcome measures</h4><h4>Main outcomes</h4>(i) vaginal birth and (ii) transfer from planned home birth to OU during labour or immediately after birth.<h4>Secondary outcomes</h4>(i) composite of maternal blood transfusion or admission to higher level care, (ii) stillbirth or Apgar score <7 at 5 minutes, (iii) neonatal unit admission.<h4>Results</h4>Planned VBAC at home was associated with a statistically significant increase in the chances of having a vaginal birth compared with planned VBAC in an OU (adjusted relative risk 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.24). The risk of an adverse maternal outcome was around 2-3% in both settings, with a similar risk of an adverse neonatal outcome. Transfer rates were high (37%) and varied markedly by parity (para 1, 56.7% versus para 2+, 24.6%).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Women in the cohort who planned VBAC at home had an increased chance of a vaginal birth compared with those planning VBAC in an OU, but transfer rates were high, particularly for women with only one previous birth, and the risk of an adverse maternal or perinatal outcome was around 2-3%. No change in guidance can be recommended.<h4>Tweetable abstract</h4>Higher vaginal birth rates in planned VBAC at home versus in OU but 2-3% adverse outcomes and high transfer rate.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Current clinical guidelines and national policy in England support offering 'low risk' women a choice of birth setting. Options include: home, free-standing midwifery unit (FMU), alongside midwifery unit (AMU) or obstetric unit (OU). This study, which is part of a broader project designed to inform policy on 'choice' in relation to childbirth, aimed to provide evidence on UK women's experiences of choice and decision-making in the period since the publication of the Birthplace findings (2011) and new NICE guidelines (2014). This paper reports on findings relating to women's information needs when making decisions about where to give birth. METHODS:A qualitative focus group study including 69 women in the last trimester of pregnancy in England in 2015-16. Seven focus groups were conducted online via a bespoke web portal, and one was face-to-face. To explore different aspects of women's experience, each group included women with specific characteristics or options; planning a home birth, living in areas with lots of choice, living in areas with limited choice, first time mothers, living close to a FMU, living in opt-out AMU areas, living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas and planning to give birth in an OU. Focus group transcripts were analysed thematically. RESULTS:Women drew on multiple sources when making choices about where to give birth. Sources included; the Internet, friends' recommendations and experiences, antenatal classes and their own personal experiences. Their midwife was not the main source of information. Women wanted the option to discuss and consider their birth preferences throughout their pregnancy, not at a fixed point. CONCLUSIONS:Birthplace choice is informed by many factors. Women may encounter fewer overt obstacles to exercising choice than in the past, but women do not consistently receive information about birthplace options from their midwife at a time and in a manner that they find helpful. Introducing options early in pregnancy, but deferring decision-making about birthplace until a woman has had time to consider and explore options and discuss these with her midwife, might facilitate choice.
Project description:Nursing home (NH) residents are often transferred to hospital (emergency department (ED) visits or hospital admissions) and this occurs more frequently in males. However, respective reasons are rather unclear. We conducted a multicenter prospective study in 14 northwest German NHs with 802 residents in which NH staff recorded anonymized data between March 2018 and July 2019 for each hospital transfer. Measures were analyzed using descriptive statistics and compared between sexes via univariate logistic regression analyses using mixed models with random effects. Eighty-eight planned transfers (53.5% hospital admissions, 46.5% ED visits) occurred as well as 535 unplanned transfers (63.1% hospital admissions, 36.9% ED visits). The two most common causes for unplanned transfers were deteriorations of health status (35.1%) and falls/accidents/injuries (33.5%). Male transferred residents were younger, more often married; their advance directives were more commonly not considered correctly and the NH staff identified more males nearing the end of life than females (52.9% vs. 38.2%). Only 9.2% of transfers were rated avoidable. For advance directive availability and NH staff's perceptions on transfer conditions, we found marked inter-facility differences. There might be sociocultural factors influencing hospital transfer decisions of male and female nursing home residents and facility characteristics that may affect transfer policy.
Project description:There is concern about the safety of homebirths, especially in women transferred to hospital during or after labour. The scope of transfer in planned home births has not been assessed in a systematic review. This review aimed to describe the proportions and indications for transfer from home to hospital during or after labour in planned home births.The databases Pubmed, Embase, Cinahl, Svemed+, and the Cochrane Library were searched using the MeSH term "home childbirth". Inclusion criteria were as follows: the study population was women who chose planned home birth at the onset of labour; the studies were from Western countries; the birth attendant was an authorised midwife or medical doctor; the studies were published in 1985 or later, with data not older than from 1980; and data on transfer from home to hospital were described. Of the 3366 titles identified, 83 full text articles were screened, and 15 met the inclusion criteria. Two of the authors independently extracted the data. Because of the heterogeneity and lack of robustness across the studies, there were considerable risks for bias if performing meta-analyses. A descriptive presentation of the findings was chosen.Fifteen studies were eligible for inclusion, containing data from 215,257 women. The total proportion of transfer from home to hospital varied from 9.9% to 31.9% across the studies. The most common indication for transfer was labour dystocia, occurring in 5.1% to 9.8% of all women planning for home births. Transfer for indication for foetal distress varied from 1.0% to 3.6%, postpartum haemorrhage from 0% to 0.2% and respiratory problems in the infant from 0.3% to 1.4%. The proportion of emergency transfers varied from 0% to 5.4%.Future studies should report indications for transfer from home to hospital and provide clear definitions of emergency transfers.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Interfacility transfers may reflect a time delay of definitive surgical care, but few studies have examined the prevalence of interfacility transfers in the urban low- and middle-income (LMIC) setting. The aim of this study was to determine the number of interfacility transfers required for surgical and obstetric conditions in an urban MIC setting to better understand access to definitive surgical care among LMIC patients. METHODS:A retrospective analysis of public interfacility transfer records was conducted from April 2015 to April 2016 in Cali, Colombia. Data were obtained from the single municipal ambulance agency providing publicly funded ambulance transfers in the city. Interfacility transfers were defined as any patient transfer between two healthcare facilities. We identified the number of transfers for patients with surgical conditions and categorized transfers based on patient ICD-9-CM codes. We compared surgical transfers from public vs. private healthcare facilities by condition type (surgical, obstetric, nonsurgical), transferring physician specialty, and transfer acuity (code blue, emergent, urgent and nonurgent) using logistic regression. RESULTS:31,659 patient transports occurred over the 13-month study period. 22250 (70.2%) of all transfers were interfacility transfers and 7777 (35%) of transfers were for patients with surgical conditions with an additional 2,244 (10.3%) for obstetric conditions. 49% (8660/17675) of interfacility transfers from public hospitals were for surgical and obstetric conditions vs 32% (1466/4580) for private facilities (P<0.001). The most common surgical conditions requiring interfacility transfer were fractures (1,227, 5.4%), appendicitis (913, 4.1%), wounds (871, 3.9%), abdominal pain (818, 3.6%), trauma (652, 2.9%), and acute abdomen (271, 1.2%). CONCLUSION:Surgical and obstetric conditions account for nearly half of all urban interfacility ambulance transfers. The most common reasons for transfer are basic surgical conditions with public healthcare facilities transferring a greater proportion of patient with surgical conditions than private facilities. Timely access to an initial healthcare facility may not be a reliable surrogate of definitive surgical care given the substantial need for interfacility transfers.
Project description:To explore whether service configuration and obstetric unit (OU) characteristics explain variation in OU intervention rates in 'low-risk' women.Ecological study using funnel plots to explore unit-level variations in adjusted intervention rates and simple linear regression, stratified by parity, to investigate possible associations between unit characteristics/configuration and adjusted intervention rates in planned OU births. Characteristics considered: OU size, presence of an alongside midwifery unit (AMU), proportion of births in the National Health Service (NHS) trust planned in midwifery units or at home and midwifery 'under' staffing.36 OUs in England.'Low-risk' women with a 'term' pregnancy planning vaginal birth in a stratified, random sample of 36 OUs.Adjusted rates of intrapartum caesarean section, instrumental delivery and two composite measures capturing birth without intervention ('straightforward' and 'normal' birth).Funnel plots showed unexplained variation in adjusted intervention rates. In NHS trusts where proportionately more non-OU births were planned, adjusted intrapartum caesarean section rates in the planned OU births were significantly higher (nulliparous: R(2)=31.8%, coefficient=0.31, p=0.02; multiparous: R(2)=43.2%, coefficient=0.23, p=0.01), and for multiparous women, rates of 'straightforward' (R(2)=26.3%, coefficient=-0.22, p=0.01) and 'normal' birth (R(2)=17.5%, coefficient=0.24, p=0.01) were lower. The size of the OU (number of births), midwifery 'under' staffing levels (the proportion of shifts where there were more women than midwives) and the presence of an AMU were associated with significant variation in some interventions.Trusts with greater provision of non-OU intrapartum care may have higher intervention rates in planned 'low-risk' OU births, but at a trust level this is likely to be more than offset by lower intervention rates in planned non-OU births. Further research using high quality data on unit characteristics and outcomes in a larger sample of OUs and trusts is required.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Emergency department visits and hospital admissions are common among nursing home residents (NHRs) and seem to be higher in Germany than in other countries. Yet, research on characteristics of transfers and involved persons in the transfer decision is scarce.<h4>Aims</h4>The aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics of hospital transfers from nursing homes (NHs) focused on contacts to physicians, family members and legal guardians prior to a transfer.<h4>Methods</h4>We conducted a multi-center study in 14 NHs in the regions Bremen and Lower Saxony (Northwestern Germany) between March 2018 and July 2019. Hospital transfers were documented for 12 months by nursing staff using a standardized questionnaire. Data were derived from care records and perspectives of nursing staff and were analyzed descriptively.<h4>Results</h4>Among 802 included NHRs, n = 535 unplanned hospital transfers occurred of which 63.1% resulted in an admission. Main reasons were deterioration of health status (e.g. fever, infections, dyspnea and exsiccosis) (35.1%) and falls/accidents/injuries (33.5%). Within 48 h prior to transfer, contact to at least one general practitioner (GP)/specialist/out-of-hour-care physician was 46.2% and varied between the NHs (range: 32.3-83.3%). GPs were involved in only 34.8% of transfer decisions. Relatives and legal guardians were more often informed about transfer (62.3% and 66.8%) than involved in the decision (21.8% and 15.1%).<h4>Discussion</h4>Contacts to physicians and involvement of the GP were low prior to unplanned transfers. The ranges between the NHs may be explained by organizational differences.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Improvements in communication between nursing staff, physicians and others are required to reduce potentially avoidable transfers.