Availability and quality of emergency obstetric care in Shanxi Province, China

Yu Gao, Lesley Barclay

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective:To investigate the availability and quality of emergency obstetric care (EmOC) received by women in a rural Chinese province.Methods:The study was conducted in 7 rural counties and townships in Shanxi Province, China. Data sources included interviews with 7 hospital leaders, 5 maternal and child health workers, and 7 obstetricians; 118 records of complicated delivery were audited, 21 Maternal and Child Health Annual Reports analyzed, and observations conducted of facilities and advanced labor care.Results:The number of comprehensive EmOC facilities was adequate in all counties. Three counties had fewer basic EmOC facilities than recommended and only 4 counties reached the recommended level. Most of the existing township hospitals did not provide birthing services. All the county hospitals could perform cesarean deliveries with rates from 6.8%–40.8%. The management of complications was not evidence-based. For example, women with pre-eclampsia and eclampsia were given too little magnesium sulfate; women were not closely monitored for hemorrhage after birth and the partograph was used incorrectly with consequences for obstructed labor.Conclusion:Basic EmOC facilities are not adequate and township hospitals should be upgraded to provide birthing services. The quality of EmOC is poor and needs improvement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-185
    Number of pages5
    JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2010


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