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close this book09. Appropriate Obstetric Technologies to Deal with Maternal Complications
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSummary
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentInfections and Hypertension
View the documentPostpartum Haemorrhage
Open this folder and view contentsObstructed Labour
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences


The Greek word ”obstetrix” means ”standing besides and wait”, implying primarily a non-intervention attitude but certainly a preparedness if complications would arise. When we speak about ”technology” we tend to imply more than a mechanical handling of events. Rather, the technology is now by and large corresponding to management practices. This understanding is underlying the current attempt to outline ”obstetric technologies”. When it comes to the concept ”appropriate” it might imply a number of eventually positive characteristics. For the author of this paper it implies a number of subordinate attributes, e.g., available, acceptable, adequate, affordable, sustainable, attractive and meeting people’s needs.

For this review there are the following terms of reference:

What is the evidence of the effectiveness and relevance of obstetrical technologies used nowadays to deal with maternal complications? In some settings, the answer for any obstetric complication is the caesarean section; in other settings vacuum extractors are still not known and therefore not used; symphysiotomy is a forgotten technique. Which are the possible appropriate obstetric technologies for obstetric complications and clarify the evidence for using them appropriately?

The concept “obstetric complications” is very wide. We shall here, within the very limited space available for this review, focus on those more life-threatening complications that we normally refer to when we discuss severe maternal morbidity and maternal mortality. In so doing we have a number of significant “obstetric complications”. Among those most important ones we have focused on the following entities:

1. Postpartum haemorrhage;
2. Obstructed labour;
3. Puerperal sepsis;
4. Pregnancy-induced hypertension/ eclampsia;
5. Cerebral malaria.