Introducing external cephalic version to clinical practice

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2001, 41 (4), pp. 395 - 397
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A service offering external cephalic version to all women with breech presentations at 36-38 weeks' gestation was introduced at St George Hospital in July 1997. This paper describes how this service was established and reports the clinical outcomes over the first three years; 116 external cephalic versions (ECV) were attempted on 114 women and success was achieved in 58 women (51%). Of the 58 women, 43 (74%) subsequently had vaginal deliveries. There were no fetal deaths, immediate Caesarean sections, or placental abruptions as a result of the ECV procedure. There were two (2%) episodes of transient fetal bradycardia following ECV, both of which returned to normal with a subsequent normal neonatal outcome. Pre- and post-ECV Kleihauer levels were collected with no increase in levels as a result of the ECV. ECV is a procedure that can, and should, be provided as part of a public hospital service.
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