Law Office of Robert A. Miller
Serving Oregon Medical Malpractice And Car Accident Clients Statewide
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Why C-section deliveries are more common in the United States

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has revealed that there are far more cesarean deliveries performed in the United States than the 10 to 15 percent of all deliveries that the World Health Organization recommends. The study shows that almost 33 percent of deliveries involve a C-section, which is much higher than other countries. The reasons for this may surprise expecting couples in Oregon.

One reason may be a legal climate that makes obstetricians more afraid of being sued than confident in their expertise. According to research, the failure to perform a C-section or to perform it sooner are among the nine most common causes of lawsuits against obstetrics. Due to this, performing a C-section before or at the first sign of risk to the health of the newborn reduces the chance of a lawsuit.

Another reason could be that it takes much longer to have a natural, vaginal delivery. Overall, a non-emergent C-section takes an average of two hours, including 45 minutes for delivering the placenta and closing the incisions. The obstetrician saves time and could perform more deliveries. Since a C-section also costs more than a vaginal birth, the doctor can make more money in the same amount of time.

A third reason might be that private insurance companies pay more for C-sections than other types of insurers. The National Bureau of Economic Research reported in a study that obstetricians are more likely to perform C-sections when financial incentives like this are present. Similarly, a National Center for Biotechnology Information study found that doctors can reduce the higher costs of prolonged labor by performing C-sections.

Although the purpose of a cesarean section is to prevent harm to the baby and mother, sometimes birth injuries result from the procedure. In such situations, the parents may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to discuss their options.

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