Nottingham expert works on new project to reduce post-c-section infections in Brazil

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

An expert at the University of Nottingham is working with nurses in Brazil to reduce the rate of post-caesarean wound infections in the country.

Caesarean births rates are considered high in Brazil, making up 45 per cent of all births in 2012, while this increases to 80 per cent in the private sector. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation recommends that caesarean births should make up less than 15 per cent of all deliveries.

C-section incision infections (also known as post-caesarean surgical site infections (SSI)) have been highlighted as a common problem for women in the country and many around the world. The project will focus on the Amazonas region, one of the poorest and most deprived areas in Brazil.

The aim of project is to focus on the prevention of infections through a new approach to managing the care of women after they have given birth by caesarean section.

The academics say that the Brazilian health system has encountered technical and operational difficulties in carrying out surveillance and prevention of post-caesarean SSI, and that there is a lack of protocols that clearly define what actions must be carried out by the entities that make up the different levels of care (primary health care, epidemiological surveillance centres and hospitals) in the health system involved in the control of post-caesarean SSI.

The project aims to establish an interdisciplinary research collaboration between academic researchers from Brazil and the UK that will focus on building standardised approaches to the prevention, surveillance and care of post-caesarean SSI. This will connect primary healthcare actions, SSI surveillance and hospital care.

Professor Stephen Timmons is an expert at Nottingham University Business School in the implementation of new treatments and interventions in the NHS, the NHS workforce, and new technology in health care. Professor Timmons will collaborate with academics at the Federal University of Amazonas and the Health Surveillance Foundation under the coordination of the School of Nursing at the University of São Paulo (EEUSP).

The academics have received funding from Academy of Medical Sciences, which funds researchers to advance medical science and translate developments into benefits for patients and the wider society.

Dr Stephen Timmons, Professor of Health Services Management in the Centre for Health Innovation, Leadership and Learning at Nottingham University Business School, said: “Caesarean birth rates are rising across the world and surgical site infections are a common issue for women who have had c-sections. So this project has the potential to have a far-reaching impact if we can demonstrate that a new process for the care of women post-birth can be successful.

The quality of life for the women affected will be greatly improved if their care can be managed effectively, allowing them to care for their child and resume their role in work or family life. By reducing infection, or better managing the infection if it’s taken hold, we can also reduce any associated diseases that can be caused by infections that aren’t quickly and appropriately treated, reducing healthcare costs for governments and resources for hospitals."
Professor Stephen Timmons

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Stephen Timmons in the Nottingham University Business School at

Katie Andrews - Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Social Sciences
Phone: 0115 951 5751

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