Why are C-section rates rising?

Why are C-section rates rising?

A new study was recently published in The Lancet that shows how Cesarean sections have grown in popularity over the past 15 years. In 2000 the worldwide rate of using a C-section was 12%, a number within the acceptable maximum rate of 15% that was established by the World Health Organization. However, by 2015 the percentage had risen to 21%. The areas with the lowest rates were West and Central Africa with an average of 4%, whereas in Latin America and the Caribbean rates rose to 44%.

Should we be alarmed at this sudden increase?

Why is the rate rising?

The study concluded that the main reason for the increase in the number of C-sections is lack of professional confidence and knowledge in performing vaginal deliveries. 3B Scientific is committed to supporting worldwide training and offers a range of highly detailed and accurate medical trainers and models for initial and ongoing simulation training.

The Birthing Simulator RealMom 2.0 for training vaginal deliveries allows simulations of normal deliveries in different birthing positions and deliveries with complications, including realistic postpartum issues. The SIMone™ Birthing Simulator can help with the interpretation of more subtle cues such as fetal heartbeat, sounds of pain from the delivering mother and respiratory sounds, which can be as important as medical data.

Why should the rate be under 15%?

A Caesarean section happens when instead of a vaginal delivery a surgical procedure takes place. It involves a long cut through the abdomen and womb and manual removal of the baby from the mother’s body.

C-sections can fall into one of three categories:

  • Emergency: when it is performed due to medical needs that arise during the delivery
  • Planned: when it is performed due to previously known medical needs
  • Elective: when there is no medical need

According to the World Health Organization, a C-section should only be chosen when it is needed for medical reasons and can be medically justified. Elective Caesarean sections should be limited to cases when the mental wellbeing of the mother is a concern, such as sexual abuse survivors.

Why is correct C-section training necessary?

Cesarean sections are a surgical procedure which carry a variety of associated risks. Recovery for mothers is usually longer and more painful than with vaginal delivery. They can also lead to scarring of the womb which is in turn associated with ectopic pregnancies, stillbirth, preterm births, abnormal placenta development and bleeding. Recently, it was discovered that C-sections also carry extra risks for the babies. They are exposed to somewhat different bacterial, physical and hormonal environments and this could have repercussions later in life.

Due to the risks associated with C-sections, it is imperative that medical professionals receive the best possible training in vaginal and C-section deliveries so they can decide which option is the most appropriate for each delivery they assist at.

3B Scientific’s C-Celia Suite of Emergency Cesarean Delivieries offers a very realistic C-section simulation including specialty training for fetal extractions, postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) control and an emergency hysterectomy. The 3B Birthing Simulator P90 Basic is a complete training model that allows for vaginal  delivery simulations, including a variety of fetal presentations, placenta and cord issues and manual manoeuvres.

Realistic life-like models that allow for a variety of simulation scenarios are key in lowering the percentage of worldwide C-sections and bringing the numbers within the recommended rates published by the World Health Organization.

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