The World Health Organisation Has Called For a Reduction in C-Sections

Акушеры-гинекологи говорят об

The information was published by the Lancet in a series of three papers, covering the reasons for the rising use of caesareans around the world, the long-term health risks associated with C-sections, and possible interventions to lower procedure rates.

"There is emerging evidence that babies born via C-section have different hormonal, physical, bacterial and medical exposures during birth, which can subtly alter their health".

The number of C-section births around the world has almost doubled since 2000, and only a fraction of those surgical procedures are medically necessary, according to a series of three papers published today by an worldwide coalition of researchers from the World Health Organization, Yale University, King's College London and elsewhere.

In 15 countries, including the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia and Iran, more than 40% of births occur by caesarean section. In fact, it was found that almost 40 percent of all delivered babies were born via c-section, with the highest rate seen in the Dominican Republic with a rate of 58.1 percent.

Experts estimate that between 10 and 15 percent of births medically require a C-section due to complications such as bleeding, foetal distress, hypertension or a baby being in an abnormal position.

But in close to a quarter of nations surveyed, C-section use is significantly lower than average. For instance, differences between provinces in China ranged from 4% to 62%, and inter-state differences in India ranged from 7% to 49%. Professor Jane Sandall, one of the study's authors, said in a release.

These include 'a lack of midwives to prevent and detect problems, loss of medical skills to confidently and competently attend a vaginal delivery, as well as medico-legal issues'.

The rise in usage has prompted the World Health Organization to make a separate announcement, introducing new guidelines to try and reduce unnecessary C-sections, calling on healthcare professionals and organizations, as well as insurance companies and women's groups to recommend non-clinical methods to pregnant women.

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The researchers also warned that in many settings young physicians are becoming experts in C-section, while losing confidence in their abilities to assist in vaginal birth.

Sandall also said there were often "financial incentives for both doctor and hospital" to perform the procedure.

In the U.S., the C-section rate is even higher than the global average, making up 25 percent of births.

"In cases where complications do occur, C-sections save lives, and we must increase accessibility in poorer regions, making C-sections universally available, but we should not overuse them".

The authors suggested better education, more midwifery-led care and improved labour planning as ways of ensuring C-sections are only performed when medically necessary, as well as ensuring women properly understand the risks involved with the procedure.

There's a balance to be struck in terms of promoting C-sections in certain areas and curtailing their use in others, the report concludes.

"The medical profession on its own can not reverse this trend", he said.

'Joint actions are urgently needed to stop unnecessary C-sections and enable women and families to be confident of receiving the most appropriate care for their circumstances'.

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