Joint Commission Educational Campaign on C-sections

PUBLISHED: Nov 28, 2016

The Joint Commission, as a part of their Speak Up™ patient safety program, has initiated an education campaign to inform expectant mothers, their partners and caregivers about cesarean section (C-section) births.

The new Speak Up campaign, The ABC’s of C-sections, aims to help expectant mothers understand the differences between abnormal and normal labor, the risks associated with C-sections and become advocates in their own care.

The program includes:

  • A description of when C-sections might be needed
  • The risks associated with C-sections
  • A video of an example effective conversation between a doctor and a patient about C-sections

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014, approximately 32% of US births were C-sections. The CDC report, Recent Trends in Cesarean Delivery in the United States, underscores that while there are often clear clinical indications for a cesarean delivery, the short- and long-term benefits and risks for both mother and infant have been the subject of intense debate for over 25 years. Cesarean delivery involves major abdominal surgery and is associated with higher rates of surgical complications and maternal rehospitalization, as well as with complications requiring neonatal intensive care unit admission. In addition to health and safety risks for mothers and newborns, hospital charges for a cesarean delivery are almost double those for a vaginal delivery, imposing significant costs.

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