Methodist-Olive Branch and Saint Francis-Bartlett are the only Memphis-area hospitals to fully meet the Leapfrog Group's C-section standard of no more than 23.9% of births. Other reported rates for Memphis-area hospitals ranged from 27.0% at the Regional Medical Center to 37.5% at Methodist-Germantown.
Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and Baptist-DeSoto did not report C-section rates due to a mid-year change in data collection systems which resulted in 12-months of data not being available.
Tennessee ranked 24th in the nation with an average C-section rate of 28.3%.
Using C-section data reported by 1,122 hospitals through the voluntary 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, Leapfrog found that, nationally, over 60% of reporting hospitals had excessive rates of C-sections.
These results mean that far too many women in Memphis, Tennessee, and the U.S. are undergoing a major abdominal surgery without medical necessity.
Cesarean sections carry serious risks of infection or blood clots, and many women experience longer recoveries and difficulty with future pregnancies. C-sections can also cause problems for babies, like breathing difficulties that need treatment in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU). In the long-term, research shows that C-sections can cause chronic pelvic pain in some women, and babies born by C-section are at increased risk of developing chronic childhood diseases like asthma and diabetes.
“This is really about how well we, as doctors, nurses, midwives, and hospitals, support labor,” said Elliott Main, M.D., chair of Leapfrog’s Maternity Care Expert Panel and medical director of Stanford’s California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. “Hospital staff that support labor appropriately and are sensitive to families’ birth plans are shown to have lower C-section rates overall. If we want to improve this rate across the board, then hospitals must hold themselves to this standard to ensure safe short- and long-term outcomes for both mom and baby.”
Click here to:
- Read more about the methodology used to determine C-section rates
- Provide your employees with information to help them avoid C-sections except when medically needed
- Learn more about how providers and policy makers can help reduce unnecessary C-sections