Friday, September 10, 2004

Natural birth no longer the norm in Canada
The Globe and Mail
A new study shows that three quarters of the nation's births involve surgical interventions, which may be overused in some regions and inaccessible in others, writes ANDRÉ PICARD
Friday, September 10, 2004 - Page A15
"When Gillian Brouse learned she was pregnant earlier this year, her obstetrician immediately suggested a scheduled cesarean section. Despite an earlier surgery to remove uterine fibroids, which placed her at higher risk of complications, she declined. When labour began last Friday, Ms. Brouse was again offered the option of a cesarean. She said no. But she was equipped with a fetal monitor and agreed to surgical induction, the breaking of her water, to speed up the birthing process. Two hours later, her daughter Cléo was born at the Ottawa Hospital. 'In the end, it was a short, uneventful labour,' Ms. Brouse said in an interview. Cléo's arrival into the world, surrounded by technology and omnipresent surgical options, was also typical. In fact, three in four births in Canada now involve some form of surgical intervention: C-sections, epidurals, forceps, vacuum extraction and episiotomies are all commonplace, according to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information...." [This study is receiving a lot of attention in Canada, with regional news outlets reporting local statistics. André Picard has done a good job of hilighting the overall rate of intervention and questioning the wide regional variances in rates of intervention. What's missing are statistics on whether or not outcomes also vary by region, and a discussion of the costs of interventions. - JC]

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