Birth injury in breech delivery: a nationwide population-based cohort study in Finland

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Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies have examined the optimal mode of breech delivery extensively, but there is a scarcity of publications focusing on the birth injuries of neonates born in breech presentation. This study aimed to examine birth injury in breech deliveries. Methods: In this retrospective register-based nationwide cohort study, data on birth injuries in vaginal breech deliveries with singleton live births were compared to cesarean section with breech presentation and cephalic vaginal delivery between 2004 and 2017 in Finland. The data were retrieved from the National Medical Birth Register. Primary outcome variables were severe and mild birth injury. Incidences of birth injuries in different gestational ages and birthweights were calculated in different modes of delivery. Crude odds ratios of risk factors for severe birth injury were analyzed. Results: In vaginal breech delivery (n = 4344), there were 0.8% of neonates with severe birth injury and 1.5% of neonates with mild birth injury compared to 0.06% and 0.2% in breech cesarean section (n = 16,979) and 0.3% and 1.9% in cephalic vaginal delivery (n = 629,182). Brachial plexus palsy was the most common type of injury in vaginal breech delivery. Increasing gestational age and birthweight had a stronger effect on the risk for injury among cephalic vaginal deliveries than among vaginal breech deliveries. Conclusion: Birth injuries were rare in vaginal breech deliveries. The incidence of severe birth injury was two times higher in vaginal breech delivery compared to cephalic vaginal delivery. Brachial plexus palsy was the most common type of injury in vaginal breech delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalARCHIVES OF GYNECOLOGY AND OBSTETRICS
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Birth injury
  • Birthweight
  • Brachial plexus palsy
  • Epidemiology
  • Population-based study
  • Vaginal breech delivery

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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