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Labour pains top reason for hospitalization

Decline in number of C-sections

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There were 16,355 women giving birth admitted to Manitoba hospitals from 2012 to 2013, accounting for 14.1 per cent of all patients.

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There were 16,355 women giving birth admitted to Manitoba hospitals from 2012 to 2013, accounting for 14.1 per cent of all patients.

You'll never guess the top reason people go to the hospital in Manitoba. Heart attack? Car accident? Frat house prank gone awry?

Nope. A new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information says the No. 1 reason for hospitalization in the province is giving birth. In fact, it's not even close. There were 16,355 women giving birth admitted to Manitoba hospitals from 2012 to 2013, representing 14.1 per cent of all patients. The new mothers stayed for an average of 2.3 days. In second place was convalescence following surgery or treatment at 3,339 (2.9 per cent) for an average of 6.8 days. Heart attacks were third at 2,748 (2.4 per cent) with a typical stay of 5.1 days.

Agnita Pal, who works in clinical administration databases operations at CIHI in Toronto, said Manitoba's numbers are in line with the national averages.

"People are getting the care that they need," she said.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the report also found the top surgery performed in Manitoba is C-sections (3,562 or 7.1 per cent with an average hospital stay of 3.4 days), followed by knee replacements (2,140 or 4.2 per cent for 5.5 days) and hip replacements (1,875 or 3.7 per cent for 8.4 days).

One of the rare instances where Manitoba figures stray from the national average is C-sections. They occur in just 14.5 per cent of births compared with 18 per cent across the country.

"We continue to see a moderate decline in the total number of hospitalizations across Canada each year, as well as in how long patients stay in hospital," said Greg Webster, director of acute and ambulatory care information services for CIHI.

"This is in part due to the increased availability of outpatient procedures and services, as well as some services shifting to out-of-hospital facilities (such as birthing centres). When examining hospitalization trends, it is important to look at specific conditions and procedures, as not all are declining and some are actually increasing, (such as) hip and knee replacements."

A representative from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority was not available for comment.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 4, 2014 A4

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Updated on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:43 AM CDT: Adds infographic

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