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Doctor’s Feel Pressure for Surgical Deliveries

Editor’s note: For a greater understanding of this issue see my earlier post at:


The number of South Florida babies born by cesarean section is rising so fast that even some obstetricians say surgical births are out of hand.

New state figures show 43 percent of Broward County births and 41 percent in Palm Beach County were done by C-section in the year ended June 30, 2008 — far above the national average of 31.8 percent, a record high. Florida, at 39 percent, ranked second highest behind New Jersey.

Contrary to common belief, cesareans cause slightly more complications and side effects for the mother and the baby than do natural births, and they pose increasing risks with every subsequent pregnancy, researchers said. C-sections also drive up the price of health care for everyone; they cost twice as much because of surgical fees and longer hospital stays.

“Absolutely, something has to change,” said Lake Worth obstetrician Sam Lederman, chief of OB-GYN at Good Samaritan Medical Center. “The C-section rate is three times higher [than 20 years ago], yet babies are not healthier. It’s not helping.

“I think it’s because we are still generalists. We don’t have doctors who specialize completely in labor and delivery. They would have more experience with every situation that can arise. They wouldn’t resort to C-sections as fast. The average OB-GYN does 10 to 12 deliveries per month. Wouldn’t it be better to go to a doctor who does 80?”


June 8, 2009 - Posted by | Accountability, Cost, Economics of Health care, Health care delivery, Overuse | , , , ,

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