212853 Should Everyone Have a Cesarean?

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:35 AM

Charles Mahan, MD , Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Pregnancy and birth are normal bodily functions. Yet in a prosperous country, where nutrition and life style should provide adequately for all to “go well,” we find that hospital caesarean rates in the U.S. have soared to over 30%. This is twice the recommended upper limit set by the WHO.

The 1985 World Health Organization statement "There is no justification for any region to have caesarean section (CS) rates higher than 10–15%" has been revisited several times over the last 25 years. Recently Betran et al. again found that 15% was a marker below which there is a correlation with increased maternal mortality and perinatal mortality but above which “risks to reproductive health outcomes may begin to outweigh benefits.” Developed globally, these rates apply to all women whether or not they live in high and low resource countries or whether or not they have high or low risk pregnancies. In high resource countries the rates are over-inflated; in low resource countries, caesareans are not acceptably accessible.

Learning Objectives:
1) List the main reason for cesarean sections in the US. 2) Describe the risks/benifits of cesarean sections. 3) List the recomendations of WHO for cesarean rates.

Keywords: Maternal Health, Maternal Well-Being

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: MD, OB,
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.