Northwestern Memorial Hospital Recognized by Consumer Reports for Low C-Section Rates

Northwestern Medicine
News April 22, 2016
Northwestern Memorial Hospital recently received Consumer Reports’ top rating for hospitals with low rates of Caesarean section births, the only hospital in the magazine’s survey with more than 10,000 annual births to receive the top score.
The hospital achieved a 17 percent C-section rate for its lowest-risk patients; the average in the Consumer Reports survey nationally was 26 percent. Northwestern was one of only three in the Chicago area to receive the top rating and was the only Chicago-area academic medical center to do so.
“We see more than 12,000 births each year at Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital and our goal for every one of them is the same — a healthy mother and healthy baby or babies,” said Alan Peaceman, MD, chief of the division of obstetrics and gynecology-maternal fetal medicine. “C-sections sometimes are the safest option for birth but we have been making a concerted effort, in line with national guidelines from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, to keep C-section rates low for patients who are low-risk.” 
 Noting that C-sections are the most common surgeries performed in the United States, the Consumer Reports survey focuses only on expectant mothers who were at low-risk for C-sections. They were all first time moms delivering full-term, single babies (not twins or triplets) who were positioned to exit head first. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sets the target for C-sections in those births at 23.9 percent or less, according to Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports found that of the 13 hospitals in the Chicago area publicly reporting their data on C-sections, C-section rates ranged from 13.8 percent to 31.1 percent. Nationally in the Consumer Reports survey, hospitals reported a range from 9 percent to 68 percent.
Learn more about Prentice Women’s Hospital, the highest volume maternity hospital in Illinois here.

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