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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2001 April;53(2):101-6

language: Italian

Delivery in multiple pregnancies

Colla F., D'Addato F., Grio R.


Background. A knowledge of clinical physiognomy in pathologies related to multiple births is indispensable for improving maternal and feto-neonatal prognosis. This study is a contribution to the solution of this problem.
Methods. A meta-analysis of data for multiple births at Department B of the Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinic at the University of Turin during the decade 1989-1998 was carried out, focusing on the arrangement and presentation of fetuses, the various types of birth, the gestational age at which birth occurred, the weight of neonates, neonatal mortality and maternal morbidity.
Results. Out of 11,523 births, there were a total of 194 (1.68%) multiple births, including 190 sets of twins and 4 triplets. 154 (79.38%) premature births were reported; 20 occurred <32nd week (10.29%). There was a high incidence of podalic presentation (26.30%) and shoulder presentation (5.61%) among twins; 202 were delivered using a cesarian section (51.53%) and 190 by vaginal birth (48.47%), of which 172 (90.52%) spontaneously. Surgical birth was an important means of extracting fetuses rapidly from a pathological environment. Two hundred and sixty-two neonates (66.84%) were LBW (<2500 g), including 28 (7.14%) VLBW (>1500 g). The perinatal mortality rate was 3.82%. Maternal complications mainly occurred during the placental stage, in the immediate postpartum and in puerperio.
Conclusions. The authors feel that a more careful medical and social assistance, preventive hospitalisation, early recognition of the risk, constant monitoring for the optimal timing of birth, and lastly, qualified medical assistance during labour (expert gynecologist, trained obstetric staff) with other medical personnel (anesthetist, neonatal specialist) represent winning strategies to solve the problems arising during multiple pregnancies.

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