Tuesday, August 24, 2010

2009 Washington State Cesarean Rates

The Unnecessarean posted the 2009 Washington State Cesarean Rates by Hospital today. The hospitals in my area are actually doing really well. Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital has the lowest rate on the list (not including hospitals that only had one or two births in the year because they don't have labor and delivery departments) at 16.8%, and Toppenish Community Hospital (where I had my son, even though it is farther way, for insurance reasons) is the second lowest, at 17.6%.. I mentioned a few reasons why I think the rates here are so good here in the comments. The factors that influence cesarean rates in hospitals are complex, and the cesarean rate is one measure of how well maternity care is doing in an area. Although the hospitals here are very good, this community can definitely use some improvement in options for childbirth education and birth location, since the hospitals pretty much have a monopoly on both right now. The data did not list the rates for homebirths or birth centers. It's not really fair to compare hospitals whose communities have very few out-of-hospital options to hospitals that have abundant ones--because having out-of-hospital options takes away some of the vaginal births from the hospital's stats. Higher c-section rates in hospitals were there are out-of-hospital births in the area is to be expected. If the data included out-of-hospital births in areas like Seattle, I think it is likely the overall rate for the state would have been lowerl.

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