Decision-to-Delivery Time Intervals in Emergency Caesarean Section Cases : Repeated cross-sectional study from Oman

Kaukab Tashfeen, Malini Patel, Ilham M. Hamdi, Ibrahim H. A. Al-Busaidi, Mansour N. Al-Yarubi


Objectives: In cases of fetal intolerance to labour, meeting the standard decision-to-delivery time interval (DDI) of ≤30 minutes is challenging. This study aimed to assess DDIs in emergency Caesarean section (CS) cases to identify factors causing DDI delays and the impact of a delayed DDI on perinatal outcomes. Methods: This repeated cross-sectional study included all emergency CS procedures performed due to acute fetal distress, antepartum haemorrhage or umbilical cord prolapse at the Nizwa Hospital, Nizwa, Oman. Three audit cycles of three months each were conducted between April 2011 and June 2013, including an initial retrospective cycle and two prospective cycles following the implementation of improvement strategies to address factors causing DDI delays. Poor perinatal outcomes were defined as Apgar scores of <7 at five minutes, admission to the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) or a stillbirth. Results: In the initial cycle, a DDI of ≤30 minutes was achieved in 23.8% of 84 cases in comparison to 44.6% of 83 cases in the second cycle. In the third cycle, 60.8% of 79 women had a DDI of ≤30 minutes (P <0.001). No significant differences in perinatal outcomes for cases with a DDI of ≤30 minutes versus 31–60 minutes were observed; however, a DDI of >60 minutes was significantly associated with poor neonatal outcomes in terms of increased SCBU admissions and low Apgar scores (P <0.001 each). Factors causing DDI delays included obtaining consent for the CS procedure, a lack of operating theatre availability and moving patients to the operating theatre. Conclusion: The identification of factors causing DDI delays may provide opportunities to improve perinatal outcomes.


Obstetric Delivery; Medical Decision-Making; Cesarean Section; Clinical Audit; Fetal Death; Apgar Score; Oman.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

Copyright SQUMJ 2019. This journal and its content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives 4.0 International license.

Flag Counter