C-section rates are high in too many U.S. hospitals, according to experts. While the procedure is often medically necessary, it is also risky. If a woman can deliver without the procedure, it’s best for her and the baby.
Rates of C-Section Births High in U.S. Hospitals
According to the Joint Commission, which accredits health care institutions and sets standards, some hospitals have C-section rates that are too high. The Commission announced it will begin reporting on C-section rates in the hopes it will decrease the number of procedures that are unnecessary.
The World Health Organization sets the appropriate limit for C-section births at just 10% to 15% of all births. The U.S. is closer to 30% with some hospitals reaching rates of 60%. While C-sections are often necessary, these high rates indicate that many procedures are being conducted unnecessarily.
This is a problem for the health and safety of both mothers and babies. According to a study, women who deliver by C-section are 80% more likely than those going through vaginal births to develop complications. Women over the age of 35 face the greatest risks of severe complications, which can include birth injuries to the baby and serious harm to the mother.
The Risks of C-Section
A Cesarean delivery, or C-section, is a surgical alternative to a natural, vaginal delivery of a baby. The surgeon makes incisions in the mother’s abdomen to remove the baby from the uterus. A doctor may recommend a C-section in advance of labor due to existing complications. In some cases, the need for the surgery only becomes obvious after labor begins.
There are many good reasons for a doctor to perform a C-section. Certain situations and complications can be dangerous for the mother and baby during vaginal delivery. On the other hand, a C-section has risks as well. The baby may be injured during the surgery or develop a breathing problem.
The mother may hemorrhage, develop an infection, react badly to anesthesia, or develop blood clots. A C-section also increases the risk of complications in subsequent pregnancies, which can harm the mother or the baby.
New Jersey Woman’s Family Sues Hospital for Botched C-Section
In an example of a serious complication from a C-section, a woman who underwent the procedure in a New Jersey hospital now has a resulting brain injury. Estefania Mesa went into cardiac arrest during a C-Section at Hoboken University Medical Center in July 2020. She stopped breathing for several minutes and the doctors and nurses failed to act in a timely manner.
Mesa’s boyfriend is suing the hospital for medical negligence. Mesa is minimally responsive, barely mobile, and suffering from severe brain damage from being deprived of oxygen for nine minutes.
If hospitals can reduce unnecessary C-sections, terrible stories like these will be fewer. While the family may receive damages, the harm is done. If you or your baby have suffered because of complications due to a C-section, contact a birth injury lawyer for help.