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Rate of C-sections at hospitals varies

The chances that a doctor will recommend a cesarean section to a woman going into labor are higher in certain hospitals than in others. In Southern California the rate can even vary in the same locality. For example, at Los Angeles Community Hospital the rate of low-risk deliveries resulting in a C-section is 55 percent whereas California Hospital Medical Center (also in L.A.) has a rate of 11 percent.

Apparently this is not an isolated phenomenon. There are a number of other metropolitan areas where the rate of C-sections varies from hospital to hospital as well.

There may be instances where a surgical birth is the best possible option. However, it appears that the rate of C-sections at many hospitals is arguably too high. One doctor expressed concern that too much of this information is hidden from the public. "How you deliver your baby should be determined by the safest delivery method, not which hospital you choose," he stated. And a large number of health organizations are making it a priority to lower the number of C-sections that are being performed overall at hospitals.

A C-sections procedure generally results in a greater risk for complications arising than does a vaginal birth. These procedures can often lead to a much greater recovery time as well. Unfortunately, there may be a financial incentive for hospitals to have more c-sections performed as insurers often pay 50 percent more for C-sections than for vaginal births.

Though most medical providers are responsible in the treatment they deliver to patients, there are exceptions. As medical malpractice attorneys we cannot allow hospitals to place profits over the well-being of the patient.

Source: Consumer Reports, "What hospitals don't want you to know about C-sections," May 2014

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