Friday, August 31, 2007

C-section rates in CA hospitals (2005)

Interested in the c-section and VBAC rates in California? This government website lists the overall & primary rates of cesarean section, plus VBAC rates, for each California hospital in 2005.

My personal list of shame (cesarean section rates over 40%):
  • Los Angeles Community Hospital: 57.4% (46.9% were primary cesareans). 1 VBAC (not percent--one VBAC period).
  • Community and Mission Hospital: 47.4% (32.2% primary). 2.1% VBAC rate.
  • East Valley Hospital Medical Center: 44.9% (30.7% primary). 0 VBACs.
  • Bellflower Medical Center: 41.9% (28.3% primary). 0 VBACs
  • Pacifica Hospital of the Valley: 41.1% (26.2% primary). 1.8% VBAC rate.
  • Citrus Valley Medical Center, QC Campus: 40.6% (27.4% primary). 3% VBAC rate.
Shame on you! (Interestingly, all of these hospitals are in L.A. County.)

11 comments:

  1. OUCH. That is just insane. :(

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  2. Wow! That's insane. It makes me not want to step foot in an LA hospital when I'm pregnant. Too risky!

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  3. Are you honestly surprised? Have you ever been to LA? No offense to anyone from LA, but the mindset of a lot of people who live there is very different than it is in the rest of the country, or at least in the places I have lived. One of my friends who lives in LA told me that it's a trend among the women she knows to have elective C-sections because they are somehow more convenient- the women can have their babies when they want to and "preserve" their vaginas at the same time. To each his own I suppose but I would take a streched out vagina any day over an unnecessary C-section.

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  4. Jen.b.in.az9/1/07, 2:18 AM

    "stretched out vagina"?? Um...no offense, but the thought never crossed my mind...
    Scary stats. As always, thanks for sharing.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. No offense taken. The thought of my vagina getting streched out from childbirth hadn't crossed my mind either, but I think that's the mindset of women who have C-sections to "preserve" their vaginas. The statistics are scary, but you have to remember that it's not all just the doctors- some women are choosing C-sections.

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  7. I think that both parties are involved, but certainly the prevailing attitude that C-sections are "safe," that they save your pelvic floor from harm, that you can avoid the pain of birth by having surgery, that babies are full term at 36-37 weeks so there's no need to labor...all of those things contribute heavily to the encouragement of c-sections by "maternal choice." Plus it's in physician's interest to do as many surgeries as possible, because (unfortunately, but true) you almost always get sued for the C-section that you didn't do, not for the one you did, however frivolous or hasty.

    There's been a lot of media attention recently on elective cesareans, and it depicts women as the driving force behind the rising C/S rate. Now, LA might be a bit different, but the *true* rate of maternal request cesareans is much lower than it's made out to be. The Listening to Mothers study, for example, found that only one mother, out of 1500 women or something like that, truly requested hers. The rest were more upon the doctor's suggestion/persuasion but would still appear as maternal request because there was no clear medical indication.

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  8. Thats very sad...however after watching the peice done by CNN the other day about how many woman are CHOOSING csections....I'm not surpised, though very sad. Women should be encouraged to birth. Yes it can be scary, I can't believe that they aren't being supported through their fear and instead doctors just shrug and say "ok, what day works for you" Just nuts...

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  9. Those c/sec numbers are worse than appear. When I looked up the hospitals in my county, they seemed low, so I clicked on the "rate explanation" hyperlink. If you scroll down to how cesarean surgery and primary cesarean surgery rates are being calculated, you will discover that the rates are calculated as follows:

    "Cesarean Delivery Rate
    Number of Cesarean Section Deliveries per 100 Deliveries (excludes abnormal presentation, preterm birth, fetal death, multiple gestations, and breech procedure)."

    "Cesarean Delivery Rate – Primary
    Number of Cesarean Deliveries per 100 deliveries among women who have not previously had a Cesarean section (excludes abnormal presentation, preterm, fetal death, multiple gestation, and breech procedures)."

    In other words, unlike what they have been previously, and what everyone would think them to be, these aren't total c/sec rates at all. They are the rates in women with full-term pregnancies, with head-down, singleton babies.

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  10. What county do you live in, Henci? I wonder if this is true of all CA counties? If so, the true C/S rate would be astronomically higher, right?...Off to investigate this a little more. This will definitely warrant another blog post if it's true for more than just one or two isolated cases.

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  11. I live in Los Angeles now and have been horrified at the number of c-sections. I am in affluent West LA. The women doing it for aesthetic reasons are in the minority and I have yet to meet one, I have only heard rumors and supposedly it os for the porn industry where having a certain appearance is important.


    Of the women I know most have been told the baby was too large to deliver and a few were induced at one week "overdue". The too large issue was one reason I refused ultrasounds for all three of my pregnancies and had my kids at home. I had easy and uncomplicated births. One was born in northern CA, one in utah and one in WA. Washington had the lowest c-section rates among women I knew and the best birthing conditions overall.

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