General anaesthetic is a method of providing anaesthesia for caesarean section for which the most common indications include urgency of the operation, when regional anaesthetics are contra-indicated or have failed amongst other factors. For more information, see Clinical commentary.
This indicator examines the proportion of women who received a general anaesthetic when giving birth by caesarean section.
- The proportion of women having a general anaesthetic when giving birth by caesarean section has shown a gradual downward trend between 2007 and 2020.
- General anaesthetic for women giving birth by caesarean section decreased with age, with the highest proportion occurring in women younger than 20 across all years.
- Women in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were more likely to have a general anaesthetic than women living in the least disadvantaged areas.
- Between 2007 and 2020, women were consistently more likely to have a general anaesthetic if they gave birth in a public hospital compared to a private hospital. In 2020, the proportion was 3 times higher in the public (6.8%) versus the private sector (2.1%).
The interactive data visualisation below presents data for women who had a general anaesthetic when giving birth by caesarean section by selected maternal characteristics. Click the Data tables button to view the data between 2007 and 2020 and use the radio buttons to see how each characteristic has changed during this time.