Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
DIAS, Marcos Augusto Bastos and DESLANDES, Suely Ferreira. Cesarean sections: risk perception and indication by attending obstetricians in a public maternity hospital in Rio de Janeiro. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.1, pp. 109-116. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2004000100025.
The cesarean section rate in municipal public maternity hospitals in the city of Rio de Janeiro in the year of 2000 was 30.1%. With such a high rate, our hypothesis is that attending obstetricians in these units are indicating cesarean sections for reasons not restricted to clinical factors. The article aims to analyze physicians' representations of the inherent risks in cesarean sections that influence the medical decision for their indication. In this qualitative study, conducted through participant observation during ward duty and interviews with obstetricians, we observed that C-section indications by obstetricians are influenced by various non-obstetric factors, including insecurity about performing obstetric maneuvers, fragmented care, and fear of legal liability. The paper suggests that the widespread use of this intervention in private maternity services has fostered a practice in public obstetric services that compromises the quality of public health care and may jeopardize the health of women and infants.
Keywords : Assistance; Parturition; Perception; Maternal and Child Health.