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Classification of Urgency of Caesarean Section – a Continuum of Risk (Good Practice No. 11)

Published: 20/04/2010

This is the first edition of this guidance.

This Good Practice guidance encourages universal use of a nationally accepted classification of urgency of caesarean section with the aim of:

  • Facilitating local and national data collection
  • Minimising communication difficulties relating to urgency of delivery, between and within teams
  • Facilitating retrospective audit of outcomes

It also formalises the concept that urgency of caesarean section represents a continuum of risk:

  • Four broad categories of risk are defined
  • All staff should be aware that, within each category, the degree of risk in individual cases can vary
  • A coloured spectrum is used to emphasise that continuum of risk
  • This variance in degree of risk requires an individual, case-by-case approach in deciding the specific decision-to-delivery interval (DDI)