Monday, September 24, 2007

Well, isn't this surprising?

That it's reported, not what it is reporting. What it's reporting has been patently obvious to those of us who have followed birth trends for the last few years.

The C-section epidemic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month released 2004 data
showing a rate of 13.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. For a country
that considers itself a leader in medical technology, this figure should be a
wake-up call. In Scandinavian countries, about 3 per 100,000 women die, which is
thought to be the irreducible minimum. The U.S. remains far from that. Even more
disturbing is the racial disparity: Black women are nearly four times as likely
to die during childbirth than white women, with a staggering rate of 34.7 deaths
per 100,000.
What's amazing about this report (other than that it's being reported at all) is the lengths people will go through to excuse the differences. Stuff like "new reporting measures" "advanced maternal age" etc. Because apparently only the US has advanced maternal age and new reporting methods really make that much diffrerence (especially in light of this bit from the article "Other reports by CDC epidemiologists have acknowledged that deaths related to childbirth are probably underreported by a factor of two to three.").

Birth in the US is a war zone. The OBs are terrified they will be sued and so they operate (no pun intended) under the idea that "you only get sued for the c-section you DIDN'T do". Patients just want time to talk to their OBs and feel like they're on an assembly line (because they are). So many people have said they just want to feel like their OB listens to them and takes the time to explain what is going on. There's a reason midwives are rarely sued for malpractice - even when they have the same outcomes. Midwives take the time to talk to their clients (and there's a difference - clients v patients) and schedule 30 minutes to an hour with each patient. They limit their patients each month to be sure they will be able to be at the births.

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