- A Consumer Reports investigation has found that Cesarean section rates vary dramatically between neighborhood hospitals.
- The study, which reviewed C-section rates for mothers expecting low risk deliveries at 1,500 hospitals in 22 states, found that high C-section rates at the low-scoring hospitals were inappropriate.
- Evidence indicates that doctors and hospitals perform C-sections too often for scheduling ease and patient and doctor convenience.
The evidence seems strong that C-sections are being performed at widely varying rates that don't match up with safety standards for medical guidelines, and that the choice to perform a C-section is somewhat arbitrary at many hospitals. If in one community, 55% of pregnant women who expected a low risk delivery at a hospital underwent a C-section, but a nearby hospital, the rate was 15%, and 11% at a third, something is out of order in how criteria for performing C-sections are being applied.