Episiotomy and Obstetric Trauma in Nevada: Evidence from Linked Hospital Discharge and Birth Data

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Nevada Journal of Public Health


Based on the perception that episiotomy prevents obstetric trauma, the procedure is liberally performed in U.S. Hospitals. Using linked Nevada Birth Registry and Nevada Impatient Hospital Discharges (2000 to 2005), we applied descriptive analyses and logistic regression to examine the status of Nevada episiotomy practice and its impact on birth trauma for mothers. Of 106,461 vaginal live births, 26,383 (24.8%) episiotomies were conducted. Obstetric trauma rate declined from 5.2% of vaginal deliveries in 2000 to 4.4% in 2005. After statistically controlling for the effect of other risk factors, zero parity, episiotomy, other instrument assisted deliveries, non-MDs as birth attendants, rural hospitals, urban county residences, and non-teaching hospitals are associated with an elevated risk obstetric trauma. We conclude that Nevada is on par with the year over year decline in national episiotomy rates.