Malpractice Suits Contribute To Rise In Caesarean Surgery

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

Many doctors believe that the increase in caesarean section births in the U.S. over the last decade has been fueled by three main factors -- fear of malpractice lawsuits, a decrease in vaginal births after c-sections and rising rates of obesity ... According to the Times, 31.8% of U.S. births were c-sections in 2007 ... making c-sections the most commonly performed procedure in the nation's hospitals.

... c-section births ... [represented] only 4% of U.S. births in 1965. ... c-section rates began to increase when it was believed that many cerebral palsy cases were the result of infants being deprived of oxygen during traumatic vaginal deliveries, which led to malpractice suits against doctors. ...

... Whereas doctors in the past were more likely to use techniques such as vacuum extraction or manually turning an infant during a difficult birth, doctors today automatically opt for a c-section ...

... 76% of U.S. obstetricians reported at least one litigation event, with an average award of $2.3 million for negligence in childbirth.

An increase in obesity and a decline in VBACs also have driven the rise in c-section births ... VBACs have declined from nearly 30% in the 1990s to 7.9% in 2005, which some doctors say is a result of fear of litigation because of the chance for rare but serious complications during birth. Similarly, obesity puts women at an increased risk for gestational diabetes, delivering prematurely or having larger infants, which can make birth more risky ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448