Experts Say Outdated Data May Be Behind Unnecessary C-Sections

(KGW) In the United States one in three pregnancies end in a C-section. Why so many?

Some health experts now believe it's because doctors are using an outdated definition of labor and many of those C-sections are not necessary.

Dr. Aaron Caughey is the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University.

He believes one reason the C-section rate is so high is because many doctors still use a definition of labor that dates back to the 1950s.

"In the old data you'd say, 'Gosh, you're 4 centimeters. If you're not 5 centimeters by a couple hours from now we're going to throw in the towel,'" Caughey explains. "Where now we say it could take four, five, six hours to go from 4 to 5 centimeters."


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