As you may know, it is Cesarean Awareness Month. You may also know that Louisiana has one of the highest cesarean rates in the United States! Consumer Reports has ranked hospitals using the data from The Leapfrog Group. The rates listed by The Leapfrog Group are NTSV cesarean rates. This means that first-time mothers with one baby (not multiples) that are term (at least 37 weeks pregnant) and vertex (head down) had cesarean sections. Many feel that this may be a more accurate measure of cesarean rates because it only looks at low risk moms, not high-risk moms with complicated pregnancies that may be more likely to need a cesarean. This is a voluntary survey, and only 19 hospitals in Louisiana participated.
In honor of #CAM2016 (Cesarean Awareness Month 2016) Consumer Reports has been releasing pictures of consumers standing in front of hospitals with a sign displaying that hospital’s cesarean rate. Lafayette General Medical Center‘s (LGMC) rate was posted. It was 31.41 %, which is obviously too high. This one is of particular interest to me since I live in the Acadiana chapter and know many women that use this hospital. So, I reached out to the director of the Women and Children’s Department of LGMC and asked what they are doing about their rate. She agreed that this rate is too high. Here is what she had to say:
“Lafayette General Medical Center has been a partner with Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Department of Health and Hospitals for several years regarding the “no elective inductions less than 39 weeks” initiative. We also have a physician panel to look at strategies to reduce our primary section rate. We educate the public during our Childbirth/Parenting classes on the importance of waiting at least 39 weeks and encourage the “Full Forty” especially for 1st time pregnancy.”
(For more information about Go the Full 40, click here.)
“Lafayette General Medical Center is involved in the LAHEN initiative regarding the Obstetric Hemorrhage Safety Bundle as well as the Pre-eclampsia Safety Bundle to assure we are addressing all that we can to ensure a great outcome for all of our OB population.”
“Lafayette General Medical Center is working on becoming a Baby Friendly USA designated facility. We have been working with EMPower on our initiatives and we are soon to enter into the D3 (Dissemination Phase). We had changed to our Mother/Baby Couplet Model of Care several years ago where we were doing skin to skin and many of the steps in Baby Friendly already and have been GIFT certified since 2008. We are now doing skin to skin routinely immediately after delivery for the first hour or until breastfeeding has been completed. We also provide the drapes with a clear window for our moms who do require a section whenever requested to make their experience as special as it can be.”
“Lafayette General Medical Center will continue to work on our areas of opportunity as it relates to our primary section rate as well as any measures to enhance our Quality care to all of our patient populations as we strive for excellence. As a community owned, not-for-profit, LGMC is a transparent organization and will always look for continuous improvement.”
Louisiana Constituents for Safe Childbirth would like to applaud the hospitals that did disclose their numbers, especially those with high numbers (because they had less motivation to be transparent)! Consumers deserve transparency so that they can make informed decisions. Did your hospital participate? For more information on how your hospital compares, click here!
Did you birth at this hospital? We would love to hear about your experience! Comment below, or better yet submit your birth story to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Maryellen is the President of Louisiana Constituents for Safe Childbirth. She got involved in the birth world during her own pregnancy with her son. Would you like to get involved with LCSC?