In Canada, there are approximately to 380,000 births each year (Statistics Canada, n.d.). Although many births may appear to be 'normal' and uneventful, data portray a different scenario. According to data from the OECD, of the 23 reporting countries in 2017, Canada had the highest reported rate of obstetric trauma for both vaginal delivers with and without instruments (OECD, 2019).
Obstetric trauma is among the most common adverse events in Canada. Obstetric trauma, including third degree and greater lacerations which may result in longer lengths of stay for mothers, as well as chronic complications such as fecal incontinence, dyspareunia, perineal pain and other pelvic floor disorders (CIHI, n.d.). The immediate and long term psychological and physical impact of these complications on the mother and family are difficult to calculate. Many of the adverse events that occur are the result of system failures, rather than individual failures. It is now known that by creating a more reliable system of care we will be able to prevent, mitigate, and identify opportunities to prevent harm (Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), 2012).
Here are videos of three women who have anonymously spoken out about their experience of suffering from the effects of an OASIS (RCOG, n.d.).
OASI – Tia's story
OASI – Sarah's story
OASI – Lisa's Story