Assessing informed consent practices during normal vaginal delivery and immediate postpartum care in tertiary-level hospitals of Bangladesh

Assessing informed consent practices during normal vaginal delivery and immediate postpartum care in tertiary-level hospitals of Bangladesh
Research Paper
Md Abdul Karim, Syed Imran Ahmed, Jannatul Ferdous, Bushra Zarin Islam, Henok Ayalew Tegegne, Bachera Aktar
European Journal of Midwifery, May 2019; 3(10)
Open Access
Abstract
Introduction
This study was conducted to assess the informed consent practices during normal vaginal delivery (NVD) process and immediate postpartum care in the tertiary-level hospitals of Bangladesh.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) and Sir Salimullah Medical College & Mitford Hospital (SSMCH) in November 2015. The study population and respondents were mothers who gave normal vaginal childbirth within the past 24 hours and received postpartum care in the study sites (N=190). The interview of every alternate mother from the patient register was conducted by researchers using a structured questionnaire. Descriptive analysis of findings was carried out using MS Excel 2013.
Results
The study findings revealed the complete absence of informed consent practices during NVD and postpartum care in the tertiary-level hospitals in Bangladesh. Consent (not informed consent) was taken from 95% of the mothers before proceeding with the NVD process, 50–72% of examinations (except breast examination, 0%) and 8–72% of procedures during postpartum care. Choice and preferences of mothers for taking an alternative process/examination/procedure were absent in all cases.
Conclusions
The Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) Charter endorsed informed consent as one of the basic rights of child-bearing women. Absence of informed consent practices in the study sites indicates disrespect to maternity care and violation of this right. The Standard Clinical Management Protocols of Bangladesh also lacks clarification of this right. Improvement of the existing protocol, increased awareness and practices are essential to address protection of this right.

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