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Perimortem caesarean section
  1. Richard Parry1,
  2. Tilo Asmussen2,
  3. Jason E Smith1,3
  1. 1Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, UK
  3. 3Academic Department of Military Emergency Medicine, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (Research & Academia), Medical Directorate, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Richard Parry, Emergency Department, Derriford Hospital, Derriford Road, Crownhill, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK; drrichp{at}


This review describes a simple approach to perimortem caesarean section (PMCS) that can be used by a doctor in the resuscitation room or prehospital environment when faced with a mother of more than 20 weeks gestation in cardiac arrest. It explores the indications for and contraindications to the procedure, the physiological rationale behind it, equipment needed, technical aspects of the procedure and reviews recent literature on maternal and fetal outcomes. Like other uncommon procedures such as emergency department thoracotomy, rehearsal and preparation for a PMCS is essential to give both mother and baby the best chance of survival.

  • cardiac arrest
  • emergency department
  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • resuscitation
  • clincial management

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