Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) National Core Maternity Indicators, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 02 October 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). National Core Maternity Indicators. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
National Core Maternity Indicators. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 28 September 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Core Maternity Indicators [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Oct. 2]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, National Core Maternity Indicators, viewed 2 October 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
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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 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.
General anaesthetic for women giving birth by caesarean section, by State/territory of birth and all Australia, 2007 to 2020.
This chart shows the proportion of women having a general anaesthetic giving birth by caesarean section, by state/territory of birth, 2007 to 2020. Data can be viewed for each state/territory of birth, and for all Australia. The proportion of women receiving a general anaesthetic giving birth by caesarean section for all Australia decreased from 8.2% in 2007 to 5.3% in 2020.
Regional anaesthesia (or epidural) is the most common method of providing anaesthesia for caesarean section (88%) (AIHW 2022). Regional anaesthesia is safer for mother and baby than general anaesthesia (NICE 2021). When general anaesthesia is used, the most common indications are urgency, maternal refusal of regional techniques, inadequate or failed regional attempts, and regional contraindications including coagulation or spinal abnormalities (Shroff et al. 2004). Obstetric indications, such as placenta praevia, were considered absolute indications for general anaesthesia however, there are now indications that general anaesthesia may not be the only option (McGlennan & Mustafa 2009).
Excel source data tables are available from the Data tab.
For more information refer to Specifications and notes for analysis in the technical notes.
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2022). Australia’s mothers and babies. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 22 July 2022.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) (2021). Caesarean birth: NICE guideline 192. Manchester: NICE. Viewed 11 October 2021.
McGlennan A & Mustafa A (2009). General anaesthetic for caesarean section. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain 9(5):148–151.
Shroff R, Thompson A, McCrum A & Rees S (2004). Prospective multidisciplinary audit of obstetric general anaesthesia in a district general hospital. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 6:641–646.
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