A hospital in our region is bucking the trend of early elective Cesarean sections.
The March of Dimes and Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center have announced that the Johnstown hospital has reduced its elective C-section deliveries to zero percent.
“Conemaugh Memorial recognized the ramifications of the late pre-term infant and embarked on a journey starting in 2005 to reduce elective deliveries,” says April Behory, RNC-OB, MSN, Director of Woman/Child Services. “The March of Dimes project, supported by evidence-based practices, helped us with the tools to succeed. The patient and clinician are critical in reducing elective deliveries. Our process began with educating clinicians, staff and patients as to why it is unsafe to deliver before less than 39 weeks unless there is a medical or obstetrical reason.”
“The last weeks of pregnancy are important to the development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs” says Dolores T. Smith, State Director for Program Services and Government Affairs for Pennsylvania March of Dimes. “Babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants.
Conemaugh says its maternity department has brought the overall C-section rate to 24-percent, below the national average of 33-percent. In addition, the hospital has reduced the number of late pre-term babies needing care in the NICU by 80 percent.