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World-first study looks at economic cost of maternal obesity

Under strict embargo until 12.01am Friday October 16, 2015

World-first study looks at economic cost of maternal obesity

With every obese and very obese pregnant woman undergoing a caesarean section, hospitals experience an average increased anaesthesia time of between 10 to 25 per cent, new research will reveal.

The dramatic and unbudgeted economic cost of this on hospitals across Australia and New Zealand will be discussed as part of the release of the results of the MUMSIZE research, led by the University of Melbourne, next Friday October 16.

The results of the study will be released to coincide with National Anaesthesia Day, an initiative of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

The theme of National Anaesthesia Day 2015 is “Obesity complicates anaesthesia”.

It is estimated that one out of every three people across Australia and New Zealand is obese (body mass index over 30), and an increasing number of this group is severely and morbidly obese. This group faces an increased risk of complications when they need an anaesthetic for an operation.

National Anaesthesia Day encourages people with excess weight who are anticipating anaesthesia as part of any medical procedure to speak to their medical team, including their anaesthetist, to discuss ways to reduce their risk.

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