Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cascade of Interventions

All the links in the diagram have been proven by scientific research.
To read the diagram, start with the intervention being considered and read downwards from that point.

My wife teaches ante natal classes promoting natural childbirth.

I confess that I am NO expert in this field, although I am fairly well qualified (I have 4 children) in supplying the necessary ingredients in achieving the final goal (if you know what I mean!)

However, I have heard my wife speak of a process called the Cascade of interventions, which in brief is once the medical establishment is called upon for some particular treatment that is not necessarily life threatening, it most cases it will lead to another intervention, then another and so on and so on!

Once an expectant mother goes IN to the maternity ward there are doctors, nurses, and all kinds of machinery and equipment on standby, just waiting to be used. The medical staff, not wanting to stand around scratching their bums want to DO something because that is what they are there for - it's what they have been trained to do, so they are more than happy to "get started."

In a medical emergency, this is most welcome, but when it is NOT necessary, it is proven that it is more harmful than good.

After having been a witness at BOTH kinds of childbirth, I am inclined to agree.

My first child born IN the hospital First the gas Then the epidural then the Caesarean section Then the stitches Then the numbing pain as the drugs wear off Then the pain and discomfort as the wounds heal Then in my wifes case, the lifelong after effects of the epidural (large injection into the spine) and my Fourth child in a hot pool in the lounge of my home with candles burning, scented incense and massage oils, soothing music playing, mother and sisters providing massage and hot towels for comfort, and 2 midwives in attendance. No drugs, gas or other pain relief, which I must say was pretty heroic, but 2 hours after my son was born, my wife was hanging out the washing! (No, I didn't ask her to! - she did it because she COULD!)

Obstetric interventions can be life-saving procedures for women and babies. Technological advances, improved surgical techniques and better anesthetics have ensured that the small percentage of women who need this kind of help receive the best possible care.

Once the natural process of labor and birth has been disturbed, especially if there is no actual medical emergency, there is a significant risk that the unwelcome side effects of the treatment will make further intervention necessary to remedy the problem. This phenomenon is known as the cascade of intervention and is illustrated in the diagram above.

ANYWAY - the reason for this unusual post is that I intend to write a post comparing the Cascade of interventions by GOVERNMENT, or COUNCIL in our lives - it seems to me there is a direct relation to these things.


Anonymous Danni said...

lover your post re the cascade of interventions. very true!! but dont forget that sometimes its the women themselves that request the induction of labour or the epidural. its debateable whether it is truly informed choice (would you have an epidural if you knew it increased your likelyhood of a cesarean by 50%?!). i dont like your chances of making a change in the status quo sadly many doctors are firmly entrenched in their medical beliefs. The BEST way to avoid any part of the cascade of interventions is to have a HOME BIRTH.

11:49 am  
Anonymous Danni said...

yikes!!! its meant to read loveD your post not what it does sorry!

11:50 am  

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