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How are babies delivered? About one-third by C-section

Over 1 million births that occurred in over 800 hospitals in the states of AZ, CA, FL, IA, MD, NJ, NC, WA, and WI in 2008 were studied.  Here is the distribution of how these childbirths occurred:

  • 720,305 (54 percent) – normal spontaneous vaginal deliveries
  • 424,224 (32 percent) – cesarean deliveries
  • 174,036 (13 percent) – vacuum extractions
  •     6,158 (0.5 percent) – forceps deliveries
  •   19,582 (1.5 percent) – two or more attempted procedures
  • 1,344,305 total

The authors raise the concern that the low volume of forceps deliveries in many hospitals may not provide enough opportunities for residents to learn how to do the procedure.

Source: Kyser, K.L., Lu, X, and others.  Forceps delivery volumes in teaching and nonteaching hospitals: are volumes sufficient for physicians to acquire and maintain competence?  Academic Medicine;89(1):71-76, Jan. 2014.  Click here for access to the publisher’s website: http://journals.lww.com/academicmedicine/Abstract/2014/01000/Forceps_Delivery_Volumes_in_Teaching_and.26.aspx  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org