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Medical retrieval of pregnant women in labour: A scoping review

  • Author Footnotes
    1 000–002-4702–8444
    Jessica McInnes
    Correspondence
    Correspondence to: 28 Davis Drive, Alice Springs, NT 0870, Australia.
    Footnotes
    1 000–002-4702–8444
    Affiliations
    Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    2 0000–0003-0984–9708
    Bridget Honan
    Footnotes
    2 0000–0003-0984–9708
    Affiliations
    Central Australian Retrieval Service, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    3 0000–0002-5373–1523
    Richard Johnson
    Footnotes
    3 0000–0002-5373–1523
    Affiliations
    Alice Springs Hospital, Alice Springs, NT, Australia

    School of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University, Australia

    Baker Institute, Australia
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  • Cheryl Durup
    Affiliations
    Central Australian Retrieval Service, Alice Springs, NT, Australia

    Alice Springs Hospital, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    4 0000-0002-1058-5108
    Ajay Venkatesh
    Footnotes
    4 0000-0002-1058-5108
    Affiliations
    Central Australian Retrieval Service, Alice Springs, NT, Australia

    Alice Springs Hospital, Alice Springs, NT, Australia

    School of Medicine and Dentistry, Griffith University, Southport, QLD, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    4 0000–0001-7592–832X
    Fergus William Gardiner
    Footnotes
    4 0000–0001-7592–832X
    Affiliations
    Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia

    University of Western Australia, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    5 0000–0001-5589–9680
    Rebecca Schultz
    Footnotes
    5 0000–0001-5589–9680
    Affiliations
    Alice Springs Hospital, Alice Springs, NT, Australia

    Edith Cowan University, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    6 000–0001-6872–6885
    Breeanna Spring
    Footnotes
    6 000–0001-6872–6885
    Affiliations
    Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia

    Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, College of Nursing and Midwifery, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 000–002-4702–8444
    2 0000–0003-0984–9708
    3 0000–0002-5373–1523
    4 0000-0002-1058-5108
    4 0000–0001-7592–832X
    5 0000–0001-5589–9680
    6 000–0001-6872–6885
Published:November 02, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.auec.2022.10.002

      Abstract

      Background

      Remote Australian women in labour often rely on retrieval services to allow birthing in specialist obstetric centres. However, there is currently debate over when not to transfer a woman in labour, for risk of an in-transit birth, associated with worse neonatal outcomes.

      Methods

      A scoping review methodology was undertaken, to define the scope of published literature on the topic and identify gaps in the current knowledge.

      Results

      A total of seven full texts were deemed suitable for synthesis, which were all retrospective observational studies. Four themes from the studies’ findings were identified: population features, predicting time-to-birth, use of tocolysis and birth during medical evacuation.

      Conclusion

      The evidence identified in this review was of low methodological quality and heterogenous. The key findings were that births in-flight are rare, despite geographical distances and long transport times, with a knowledge gap on predictors of time-to-birth.

      Keywords

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