Florida Hospitals Have Higher C-Section Rate for First-Time Moms
A study by Consumer Reports reveals that first-time mothers in Florida are more likely to deliver a baby via C-section than anywhere else in the country. The study looked at more than 1,200 hospitals around the United States and found that Florida hospitals, particularly in Florida-Dade County, have the nation’s highest rate of C-section births among those with low-risk pregnancies who were least likely to require the procedure.
Florida hospitals on average performed cesarean sections for approximately 32 percent of low-risk, first-time pregnancies where the baby was carried for 37 weeks or longer and did not present breached. Florida is surpassed only by Washington, DC at 35 percent.
The study found that Florida-area hospitals were even more likely to perform unnecessary C-sections than the state average, finding that the procedure was performed in 40 percent of deliveries in Florida-Dade County hospitals. For-profit medical center Hialeah Hospital performed C-sections in 68 percent of all first-time births – double the statewide average – followed closely by Kendall Regional Medical Center at 53.9 percent and South Florida Hospital at 53.4 percent. For comparison, consider that the national average for low-risk pregnancies is 26 percent – a figure that is still considered high by Consumer Reports’ standards.
Experts point to the following potential causes for this trend:
- Patient preference
- Doctors practicing defensive medicine
- Doctors chasing higher payment rates
- Unrealistic expectations that all births should take place without any complications
- Cultural inclination
The CDC reports that Hispanic women and non-Hispanic blacks are more likely to deliver a child by C-section than non-Hispanic whites.
Unnecessary C-Sections Come with Unnecessary Risks
According to lawyer Philip Freidin, “There can be many negative complications from C-Sections, including risks like infection, blood transfusion, blood clots, and anesthetic complications. These can result in very serious outcomes. If a C-section was unnecessary in the first place, a serious complication could warrant a medical malpractice action against the doctor who ordered the procedure. We at Freidin Brown, P.A. recognize that choosing whether or not to perform a C-section is often a matter of judgment. However, a comparison of the national rate with some of our local hospitals raises some serious questions, in our opinion.”
If you are a Florida resident who has suffered adverse health effects after a C-section, please contact our firm today. If your pregnancy was low-risk and can be proven not to have been medically necessary, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. Our Florida medical malpractice lawyers stand ready to meet with you for free to discuss your case and your legal options. Contact our office today at 888-677-7764.