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%.
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.