Hospitals claim natural births following C-sections too ri$ky
By Kay Lazar
Friday, May 14, 2004
Citing the rising costs of malpractice lawsuits, a major hospital chain serving Southeastern Massachusetts will no longer offer women the choice of delivering their babies vaginally if they previously delivered by Caesarean section.
``This decision was made with great difficulty by the hospitals' leadership after months of careful consideration,'' Dr. Ronald Goodspeed, president of Southcoast Hospitals Group, said in a statement. Southcoast Hospitals include Charlton in Fall River, St. Luke's in New Bedford and Tobey in Wareham.
The Southcoast Group joins a long list of other New England hospitals - mostly smaller facilities - that have dropped vaginal births after Caesareans, known as VBACs. The hospitals say liability concerns and stricter guidelines that require them to have a full emergency team always available are too costly.
``It's sad that a woman can't decide for herself how to have a baby . . . and a person can't find reliable health care close to their home,'' said Cara Barbero, 36, a New Bedford mom who previously had a Caesarean but later delivered two healthy babies vaginally at Tobey Hospital, including a daughter just seven weeks ago.
Dr. Robert Barbieri, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women's Hospital, said there is less than a 1 percent chance of a woman's uterus rupturing during a VBAC because of scarring from a previous Caesarean. The Brigham continues to offer VBACs.
``Many women really want to try VBAC and I think it's important for the medical community to respond to that desire,'' he said.
He noted that Caesarean surgeries also pose risks and require longer recovery times.
But huge lawsuits from the rare, bad VBACs are scaring hospitals, said Dr. Ronald Burkman, head of the Massachusetts American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
May 20, '04
Last edit by fiestynurse on Dec 24, '04