Blame docs for high caesarean rates

Updated: Oct 15, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

It`s not mothers who are to be blamed for high rates of caesarean births but doctors, says a British study.

A debate has been raging over Britain`s high caesarean rate with around one in four births delivered surgically.

Now, a study has found there is large variation in caesarean rates.

Most of the differences are due to decisions taken in emergency situations rather than mothers asking for surgery when they do not need it, reports the Telegraph.

The research found there were 620,604 births of single babies in 2008 with 24 per cent delivered by caesarean section, according to the British Medical Journal.

When characteristics and clinical factors of mothers were taken into account, the rate varied from 15 per cent in some hospitals to almost one third in others.

Lead author Fiona Bragg, specialty registrar in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, wrote that there were around 15,000 women who had a caesarean without a prior identified clinical reason and 30 per cent of those were done as emergency cases.

"We observed that variation in the overall rates of caesarean section was associated with rates of emergency procedures," she added.

IANS