Newsletter: What’s behind San Diego County’s alarmingly high C-section rates?
Jonny and Rebecca Gose cradle their newborn, Liberty, at UCSD Medical Center. April 21, 2016. Megan Wood, inewsource.

Newsletter: What’s behind San Diego County’s alarmingly high C-section rates?

by Cheryl Clark | inewsource

Nearly one in three first-born babies in San Diego County is delivered by cesarean section surgery, a rate that is far higher than what federal health officials say it should be.

What’s more, San Diego County’s rate is higher than all other urban counties in the state. Also, every local hospital except UCSD Medical Center exceeds the 23.9 percent national target. The higher rate is of concern because C-sections carry much greater risks of complications, including infections and lacerations, than do vaginal births.

Those statistics came to light in a Consumer Reports publication that analyzed national 2014 C-section rates for women at low risk of complications — that is, women delivering their first baby: a single child whose head is in the normal down position in the birth canal. inewsource calculated the number of C-sections in these low-risk groups for each hospital to compute a rate for each county.

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