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Issues driving the nation's C-section rate

Although a mother may plan for a vaginal delivery, issues at the time of labor can result in an Arizona doctor's decision to perform a cesarean delivery. Providers in the United States perform C-sections in approximately one-third of deliveries. However, the results of a study that has been published in a leading medical journal indicate that the maximum benefit in mitigating fetal or maternal deaths is achieved at a C-section rate of 19 percent. One of the most serious issues to consider in the U.S. is the fact that the nation has a high rate of maternal deaths compared to other developed nations.

There are several issues that might contribute to the high rate of surgical deliveries, and finance may be one of the most significant. The time needed for a vaginal delivery is significantly longer than that needed for surgery. This means that a provider can complete several C-section deliveries in the same amount of time that one vaginal delivery would require. Furthermore, private insurers pay more for C-sections, which means that the return on this type of delivery is more attractive to both physicians and hospitals.

The potential for a medical malpractice action because of injuries during the delivery process presents another incentive to opt for C-sections when possible. There has been a significant amount of litigation related to physicians who have allegedly failed to perform prompt and effective surgical deliveries. Providers may view C-section as a safety net that prevents a patient from alleging negligence. However, the serious risks associated with surgical deliveries could leave room for allegations of medical malpractice after C-sections as well.

In some cases, one's own provider might not be available at the time of a medical event such as the delivery of a baby, which means that an approach other than anticipated could be emphasized. A patient who suffers serious medical problems after an unplanned and unnecessary procedure might want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what recourse may be available.

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Law Offices of Raymond J. Slomski, P.C.

2929 North Central Avenue Suite 700 Phoenix, AZ 85012 Phone: 602-635-7603 Fax: 602-230-8707 Phoenix Law Office Map