C-section rate of United States exceeds global average

The United States has a high caesarean-section rate of 32.5 percent in comparison to the average of 28 percent among developed nations. The high rate has been controversial as the surgical procedure is not always medically necessary.

While C-sections may be performed due to a woman’s personal preference, in some cases they are required for protecting the health or life of the mother and baby. For example, a larger-than-average infant may be unable to pass through the birth canal, or a complication may require an emergency C-section to safely deliver the baby. However, only around 5 percent of C-sections are genuine emergencies. Many of them result from doubt or uncertainty, such as when a baby looks big, labor is not progressing well or the mother is past her due date.

Research by the Harvard Medical School and the Stanford University School of Medicine indicates that the ideal C-section rate is around 19 percent of all births. While rates below this are associated with more birth-related complications and poorer outcomes, anything higher does not bode well for mothers and babies.

Doctors are responsible for determining when C-sections are necessary for a safe birth. Delaying a necessary surgery could result in the newborn suffering birth injuries. Reassessing which complications truly require surgical intervention may help reduce the C-section rate.

For example, breech babies were once considered a manageable complication of natural deliveries. However, today such infants are mostly delivered via a planned C-section as many doctors in the country are no longer trained to perform vaginal deliveries of breech babies. According to the American College of Obstetrics, “Cesarean delivery will be the preferred mode of delivery for most physicians because of the diminishing expertise in vaginal breech delivery.”

It is important to note that determining fault can be more complicated than it might seem. If your child was injured and you believe someone else is fully or partially to blame, contact Chalik & Chalik, Fort Lauderdale birth injury lawyers to learn more about your rights.