Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Birth by the Numbers Update

Eugene Declerq and the team at Birth by the Numbers have very recently updated their statistics and their video!

Two years ago I posted the video Birth by the Numbers, a fantastic resource for mothers, public health professionals, students, and teachers. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend you check it out.

This brand new updated Birth by the Numbers covers several maternal and infant health indicators, including maternal mortality and neonatal mortality, compared to other countries. This may sound dry, but he makes some jokes to start you off.

Dr. Declerq then covers Cesarean sections, with a great overview of trends in primary cesarean section rates. He even discusses cost savings of reducing these rates.

Are we doing better? Worse? Tune in to find out this answer and more!

I really like this slide:

I also recently saw a graph elsewhere showing the c-section rate rise with the introduction and push of the electronic fetal monitor. And of course, the decrease in the rate during the period in the 90's when Trial of Labor after Cesarean was promoted.

For further information, I highly recommend the Birth by the Numbers website, or any of the sites he references at the end of the video.

Also, if you're into the research on c-sections, here is an article on the variation in cesarean section rates across the country and in each hospital, and some analysis of why:
Cesarean Delivery Rates Vary 10-Fold Among US Hospitals; Reducing Variation May Address Quality, Cost Issues
"We found that cesarean rates varied tenfold across hospitals, from 7.1 percent to 69.9 percent. Even for women with lower-risk pregnancies, in which more limited variation might be expected, cesarean rates varied fifteen-fold, from 2.4 percent to 36.5 percent. Thus, vast differences in practice patterns are likely to be driving the costly overuse of cesarean delivery in many US hospitals."

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