The death rate among women undergoing a caesarean section to deliver a baby is about 50 times higher in Africa than in most wealthy nations, researchers said on Friday. One in 200 women perished during or soon after a caesarean in a sampling of nearly 3,700 births across 22 African countries, they reported in The Lancet Global Health. By comparison, maternal mortality is about one woman per 10,000 operations in Britain. Death rates related to C-sections are about the same across most developed countries. “The findings highlight the urgent need for improved safety for the procedure,” said researchers led by Bruce Biccard, a professor at the University of Cape Town. Preventable C-section deaths mostly stemmed from a ruptured uterus, in mothers who had pre-existing placental complications, bleeding before birth or during surgery, and problems related to anaesthesia. “Improvement of C-section surgical outcomes could substantially improve both maternal and neonatal mortality,” Biccard sa...

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