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Unnecessary C-sections come with a high risk of complications

Cesarean sections are far more dangerous than traditional vaginal deliveries. Yet, some hospitals across Louisiana and the nation deliver more than half of all babies born there via this method. C-section deliveries create risks for mothers as well as babies, raising questions about why C-section rates remain so high.

Per USA Today, C-section deliveries are necessary in some cases to prevent harm to the mother and baby. However, the World Health Organization considers the ideal C-section birth rate to fall somewhere between 10% and 15%. As of 2018, more than 30% of all women birthed their babies via C-section. In some hospitals, C-section rates were as high as 60%.

C-section risks

Women who undergo C-section deliveries are 80% more likely than mothers who deliver vaginally to experience complications during or after childbirth. Women who are at least 35 when they deliver via C-section are three times as likely to experience severe complications during or after delivery. Mothers who have C-sections are also at a high risk of experiencing complications in any subsequent deliveries they may have.

Complications common after C-section deliveries include blood clots, hemorrhage, infection, surgical injury and bad reactions to anesthesia, among others.

C-section public reports

Some hospitals have much higher C-section delivery rates than others. The Joint Commission, which sets standards in health care, announced plans to publicize C-section delivery rates at U.S. hospitals to see if this lowers national C-section numbers.

There is considerable variation in C-section rates from one hospital to the next. Yet, there is no improved outcome seen at hospitals that have higher C-section delivery rates.

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