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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 347-353

Referral chain of patients with obstetric emergency from primary care to tertiary care: A gap analysis

1 MPH Graduate, JIPMER School of Public Health, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, AVMC, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
4 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Subitha Lakshminarayanan
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry - 605006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_836_19

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Background: The referral system plays a crucial role in antenatal care and childbearing by providing access to emergency obstetric care. Excess referral from primary care and bypassing secondary levels of care leads to overcrowding of high risk and normal mothers in tertiary centers. Hence, this study aims to assess the gaps in the referral of patients with obstetric emergency from primary care to tertiary care. Methodology: In this hospital-based descriptive study, all obstetric patients referred to the Obstetric emergency facility and admitted in postnatal wards during the study period were included. They were interviewed using a pretested questionnaire. Data entry was performed using EpiData version 3.1 and analysis was done using SPSS version 22 software. Results: Of the 505 eligible women who attended the facility, 286 (56%) were referred from other institutions, while 44% were self-referred. Among those referred, one-third were from tertiary level facility and 40% from primary care facility. More than half of the referral was through verbal communication to the patient (60%); only one-third had referral slips. Around 40.4% chose bus and private vehicles (37.6%) as their means of transport; only around 10% traveled in 108 ambulances. Conclusions: Measures to improve the capacity building at primary setting, hierarchy of referral, quality of documentation, and emergency transport mechanism for obstetric patients are vital. The deficits identified in the existing referral system will be useful to give feedback to the health systems of the neighboring regions on emergency obstetrics referrals and to propose referral guidelines.

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