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Do midwives see caesarean section wound care education as a need?

02 June 2015
Volume 23 · Issue 6


With the current caesarean section (CS) rate at 25% for England, delivering postnatal wound care is a common element of the midwife's role. Anecdotal evidence suggested CS wound care education was a need within the Trust's midwifery service. A questionnaire was used to investigate midwives' views and the need for education in relation to CS wound care. The results confirm midwives do see wound care education as a need. For the first time, information is available on the topics midwives feel should be the focus of such education and useful methods of delivering it. This information can be used to develop a wound care education package to address midwives' learning needs in this area.

Despite recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the ideal rate for caesarean sections (CS) should be between 10 and 15%, the CS rate in the UK has not reduced in recent years and remains at 25% (Health and Social Care Information Centre, 2015; WHO, 2015), with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust's rate comparable at 24%. As the main provider of postnatal care, the midwife is responsible for delivering wound care to these women. This care comprises both action and advice to prevent surgical site infections (SSI) and care within professional boundaries in the event of a SSI occurring. SSI is a risk with any surgical procedure, although the risk is acknowledged to be greater with certain procedures, such as vascular and cardiac surgery (Reilly et al, 2006). CS has typically been viewed to be a low-risk procedure due to the younger age and perceived good health status of patients. However, due to health-care advances, many women are now having children who would previously have been unable to due to pre-existing conditions (Anderson et al, 2013; McGiveron, 2015). The altering health status of the pregnant population requires us to reconsider the importance of wound care and the risk of SSI in this group.

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