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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 2378-2383

Reasons for obstetric referrals from community facilities to a tertiary obstetric facility: A study from Southern Karnataka

1 Department of Community Health and Health Rights, Society for People's Action for Development, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Maternal and Child Health Research, Bangalore Birth Network, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Family Medicine, Patient Centred Medical Home (PCMH) Restore Health, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
4 Academy of Family Physicians of India (AFPI), National Center for Primary Care Research and Policy, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Asha Kilaru
A1 Charter House, 36 7th Cross, Lavelle Road, Bangalore - 560 001, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_308_19

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Context: Pregnancy-related preventable morbidity and mortality remain high in India. Safe delivery services should focus on improving neonatal and maternal outcomes while also enabling a positive childbirth experience. However, high rates of intrapartum obstetric referrals are common. Objective: To describe the timing and the reasons for obstetric referrals to a public tertiary care hospital in Bangalore and characteristics of the referring facilities. Methods: We interviewed 320 women who delivered at the tertiary care hospital within a one-month time frame prior to the interview and who originally planned to deliver elsewhere. Results: Ninety four percent of women in the study reported that the decision to transfer to the tertiary hospital was made after the onset of labour. Referrals were made for medical as well as non-medical reasons. About a third (35%) had to take loans to cover the expenses of childbirth. Conclusions: Referrals frequently occurred after the onset of labour. Our data imply that improving obstetric referral protocols will improve the birth experience and reduce the burden on tertiary care facilities and on the women themselves.

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