Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Study suggests overuse of C-sections at certain hospitals

The number of Cesarean sections (C-sections) performed at various hospitals including those in Pennsylvania varies dramatically. At some hospitals, the number of C-sections performed can be as low as 7 percent of all births while at other hospitals it can be as high as 70 percent. Even for low-risk type pregnancies, as many as 37 percent of deliveries were by C-section.

The author of one particular study concerning this matter suggests that this may be a concern about the type of care certain hospitals provide. C-sections may simply be an overused practice at certain facilities.

Though we would hope that most doctors would prescribe this only for women that require the procedure, it's possible that the number of C-sections performed may be related to revenue considerations. The average cost for a vaginal birth is $9,000, and the average cost for a C-section is $13,000. The C-section is now said to be the most common surgical procedure performed at hospitals.

The practice patterns of performing more C-sections, we may be seeing more legislative efforts to reduce the numbers that are being performed. There has even been talk about tying Medicaid payments to the type of procedure performed.

There are risks with unnecessary C-sections in any case. There is an increased risk of infection, the need for emergency hysterectomy, asphyxia, respiratory distress and pulmonary disorders for the child.

If anyone from Pittsburgh or surrounding area knows of a situation where someone is injured due to the performance of a C-section, they may wish to speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney. These attorneys can examine the common practices of the hospital, look at the individual circumstances of the case, and determine if a medical malpractice claim exists.

Source: ABC News, "C-Section Rates Vary Widely Between Hospitals, Study Finds," by Crystal Phend, March 5, 2013

  • Learn more about the sorts of birth injuries that could constitute medical malpractice at our Pittsburgh attorneys' website.

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