Objective To investigate the incidence of fetal laceration injury in cesarean delivery.
Methods A retrospective review was conducted using a computer-based data coding system. All neonatal records were reviewed for infants delivered by cesarean during a 2-year period. Maternal records were reviewed in those cases of documented fetal laceration injury. The Fisher exact test was used when indicated.
Results There were 904 cesarean deliveries performed during the study period; of these, 896 neonatal records (98.4%) were available for review. Seventeen laceration injuries were recorded (1.9%). The incidence of laceration appeared higher when the indication for cesarean was nonvertex (6.0% versus 1.4%, P = .02). One of 17 (5.9%) maternal records indicated the presence of the laceration of the fetus.
Conclusion Fetal laceration injury at cesarean delivery is not rare, especially when it is performed for nonvertex presentation. The minority of obstetric records show documentation of such lacerations, suggesting that this complication often may not be recognized by obstetricians.
Address reprint requests to: James F. Smith, MD, Mountain States Maternal Fetal Medicine, 2005 Franklin Street, Suite 750, Denver, CO 80205
© 1997 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Fetal laceration injury occurs in 1.9% of cesarean deliveries, most frequently with nonvertex presentation.