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Unplanned Births Out-Of-Hospital Increases Risk of Infant Mortality, Study Finds

Update Date: Sep 03, 2014 09:29 AM EDT

Unplanned births out-of-hospital in Norway are associated with higher infant mortality, a new research has revealed. 

The research noted that young women who have given birth at least once before and those living in remote areas are more likely to have unplanned deliveries, increasing the risk of death in newborns. 

According to medical evidences, with less birth centers the rates of unplanned births in Norway have increased from 4 per 1,000 births in 1979-83 to 7 in 1,000 births over the past few years. 

"This trend to centralize obstetrics has improved perinatal mortality rates," explained lead author Dr. Björn Gunnarsson from the Norwegian Air Ambulance Foundation in Drøbak, Norway, in the press release. "One downside to specialized care in central locations is an increase in unplanned births and its adverse outcomes, which is the focus of our study."

The study noted that 7 per  1,000 deliveries are unplanned births that take place out of hospitals in Norway since 1999 and that young multiparous women living in remote areas are most likely to have unplanned deliveries. 

"Our findings suggest that unplanned births are linked to greater risk of perinatal mortality, which may be caused by limited access to proper medical care for vulnerable newborns. Further study of additional morbidities and potential interventions that reduce unplanned births is needed," Dr. Gunnarsson added.

The findings of the study have been published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica.

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