Friday, March 20, 2009

CDC releases staggering 31.8% c-section statistic

As research continues to illustrate the risks of unnecessary cesarean surgery, the Center for Disease Control released “Births: Preliminary Data for 2007.” The 2007 birth rate is the highest it’s ever been and so is the cesarean section rate:
The cesarean delivery rate rose 2 percent in 2007, to 31.8 percent, marking the 11th consecutive year of increase and another record high for the United States.
The cesarean section rate has doubled since 1996 and is more than twice the 15% rate recommended by the World Health Organization. It is also well above the federal government’s Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing cesarean section among low-risk women giving birth for the first time to 15%.

Cesarean rates vary widely across the nation, across hospitals and among providers. Variations are said to reflect practices and policies of individual hospitals and providers more than they reflect the health of pregnant women and their babies.

Access to hospital- and provider-level data on cesarean rates would provide women with important information for selecting a birth setting and provider. Toward this end, The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services launched the Transparency in Maternity Care Project: The Birth Survey. Women who have given birth within the past three years can share their provider and birth setting experience via The Birth Survey.

While local-level maternity care data is not yet available, Lane County women do have access to at least one provider and setting within the health care delivery system with a cesarean section rate consistent with national and international standards for healthy mother-baby outcomes: the PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center.

PeaceHealth’s commitment to relocate the Birth Center adjacent to its RiverBend campus is all the more important given the recent news about cesarean section rates. Simply put, it's the right thing to do.


To learn more about why transparency in maternity care matters, read:

No comments:

Post a Comment