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Kendall Regional in Florida Boasts 70 Percent C-Section Rate




Navelgazing Midwife alerted her friends to the article Births on cue: C-sections soar in S. Florida in the Miami Herald. I periodically babble about how I don’t think the general public will really care about the c-section rate until it crosses the 50 percent mark. When there is a greater than fifty percent chance that their friend, partner or sister will leave the hospital with vaginal bypass surgery, the general public will be shocked.


The fifth horseman of the apocalypse just rode into to Miami-Dade County and is cantering around Kendall Regional Medical Center.


Last year, for the first time, more babies in Miami-Dade County were born by cesarean section than were born vaginally, according to state records, and Broward’s not far behind, with a rate of 43.7 percent — both far above the national average.


At Kendall Regional Medical Center in Southwest Miami-Dade, seven out of 10 babies were delivered by C-section, a rate that University of Miami obstetrician Gene Burkett called “just astounding.”



 Douglas Richards, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology at the University of Florida says c-sections are fast, easy, pain-free and make women so happy! 


Traditionally, many doctors have warned against cesareans because of the risks anytime a patient is cut open. ”Definitely surgery always has a chance of a serious complication,” said Douglas Richards, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology at the University of Florida.


Still, in recent years, such warnings have been muted. ”The risks and benefits are much more balanced than they used to be,” Richards said. “Cesareans have become so safe and relatively easy for women.”


He means in particular planned C-sections — ”no rushing around, the baby doesn’t have to come out right away.” Improved anesthetics allow patients to rebound quickly. “They’re happy and pain-free and walking around the first day. Many go home after 48 hours.”




The article also features the cliché motherblamer quotes from various “experts,” such as too old, too fat, multiples and more.




Hospitals with rates higher than 50 percent were:



South Miami (59.9)


Mercy (58)


Hialeah (52)


Baptist (50.3)


Jackson Memorial (50.4)


Holy Cross (51.6)









Hospital PR Clean-up?

Many of the hospitals didn’t want to discuss cesareans. Kendall Regional spokesman Peter Jude acknowledged the AHCA numbers were correct and said the hospital is “first and foremost committed to the well being and health of our mothers and infants. There are a number of factors patients and physicians consider when determining the delivery method.”


Berrios at South Miami said her hospital has been designated a center for high-risk cases and was close to an infertility clinic, where many of the patients had various risk factors, including multiple fetuses.


Jackson Memorial’s rate is high because the hospital gets most of the high-risk births for the entire county, said Burkett, noting that he had just been notified a woman carrying a fetus with heart problems was on her way from the Virgin Islands.


While supporting many reasons for C-sections, Richards in Gainesville emphasized he didn’t want to appear to be endorsing rates of 50 percent to 70 percent. ”That’s pretty astounding.” He noted one reason “not to have a more liberal cesarean policy is that babies born without labor tend to have more respiratory problems.”


Still, when Richards and three other ob-gyns were asked whether there was an upper limit on how high the C-section rate could go, in South Florida or the nation, none wanted to venture a guess. ”We just don’t know,” Berrios said.



Dr. Zulma Berrios might like to know that doctors have the power to curtail the c-section rate lest they be left looking like incompetent, ignorant boobs. You can call her at (305) 669-1523.



Peter Jude is Kendall Regional’s spokesperson. His number is (305) 228-5451.





Warn Your Floridian Friends! Tell Them They Have Options.


Florida Friends of Midwives


The Birth Place run by CPM Jennie Joseph


Baby Love Birth Center run by Samantha McCormick


The Miami Maternity Center (featured in the hit Discovery Health Channel series, “House of Babies”) run by Shari Daniels.


The Florida Midwives Web site gives women a place to search for a midwife.


The Birth Survey results are live and women can search for reviews on physicians and midwives.





File a Complaint Against Your Hospital for Unnecessary Cesarean or VBAC Ban


For directions from the JCAHO regarding how to file a complaint, call:

1-800-994-6610 between 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.


Start with an e-mail to complaint@jcaho.org or fax the Office of Quality Monitoring at (630) 792-5636


Mail: Office of Quality Monitoring

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

One Renaissance Blvd.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181




Name and Shame


In April, when Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston experienced a MRSA outbreak, BIDMC CEO Paul Levy wrote about it on his blog, Running a Hospital, before the media caught wind of the story.  His hospital has a 42 percent c-section rate and while the MRSA outbreak which affected more than 30 mothers and newborns could happen anywhere, the high c-section rate makes women more vulnerable to nosocomial infection and should be reduced immediately.


In a follow-up post, Levy wrote about deciding to post about the MRSA outbreak:

In so doing, I show us for what we are in real time, warts and all. This makes us vulnerable to nasty anonymous commenters in the blogosphere, as well as to people who think they benefit from embarrassing us and making us uncomfortable. And, even a few of my board members have said, from time time, “Transparency is one thing, but did you have to post that?”

The truth is, hospital administrators should feel uncomfortable and should harness those feelings of guilt and shame to make positive changes in their hospital, like telling their OB/GYN staff to stop performing so many unnecesareans and unethically turning low-risk women into high-risk patients with each unnecessary cut of a scalpel.




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Reader Comments (34)

Florida is dangerous for women and children. This is sad. What a waste of money. And we wonder what is wrong with children...the problems that they have...mothers...and the problems that they have...

May 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRj

Seventy percent? Like, a seven, and then a zero...percent? Of all births? Holy fishsticks. I'm really not sure I can come up with a more suitable, and still socially acceptable, phrase.

May 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTara

Excuse me but I just vomited in my mouth a little. A 70% C-Section rate! WTF? This is beyond crazy. I have worked in some of the highest risk OB departments in the country (one that has the highest amount of deliveries in the country, and is a trauma center, and has an OB ICU, and has one of the most successful IVF programs in the country, and cares for terminaly ill pregnant patients, etc, etc) and it has a C-Section rate of only 28%! I call a major "Code-Bullshit" on this Florida doctor. A C/S rate of 70% is malpractice, pure and simple. Seriously, let's cut this OB's abdomen open and see how pain free it is. He also has to breastfeed a newborn, and get up ever two hours to care for it with a fresh abdominal incision while he is at it. Good Grief Charlie Brown! I am flabbergasted I will be posting this story at work. Thanks Jill!!

May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReality Rounds

Glad you came by to call your patented Code Bullshit. 70% is beyond ridiculous. I was more irked by the PR guy claiming the health of mothers and babies comes first. Umm, ok.

I think some women might be pain-free if theyre heavily medicated in their discharge visit with their doc. They don't see them at home getting kicked in the gut while breastfeeding a wiggly newborn or just being too tired from recovery to do anything. I've read a handful of accounts of women who say they snap right back and are walking around the house taking care of their kids in days. Not typical.

May 10, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Was it clear that the part about the Beth Israel MRSA commentary had nothing to do with MRSA? The CEO handled it great. Honest and forthright... what more could you want? In fact, I just visited someone in the hospital last night who had MRSA. It happens.

But not wanting people to make them feel uncomfortable? Please. If something like a 42% or 70% c-section rate embarrasses hospital admin or makes them feel uncomfortable then they should DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Maybe think about the discomfort the women being unnecessarily operated upon are feeling and then see if someone on the internet still makes them feel uncomfortable.

May 10, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

Can I send him an email that tells him he's a douche? I'd like to see someone cut the man in half and then tell everyone how much he loved it. No big deal, he'll be walking around, happy and whistling in just 48 hours. I think he may be taking the drugs he sends his patients home on.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Jenny, if you hadn't just made me laugh so hard, I would have said "Let's be appropriate, now."

Official reply: Please don't tell anyone I told you to tell them they are a douche.

Post script: You are entitled to your thoughts on the extreme douchebaggery associated with a 70 percent c-section rate. It's so horrifyingly inappropriate that it makes my hair stand on end when I think about it.

May 11, 2009 | Registered CommenterJill

I work with a nurse who did some travel nursing in Florida. I do not know what hospital she worked at. She told me when she came back,more than a year ago, that they had an astronomical section rate. She said they would do inductions, then call them failure to progress and cut them by lunch.

This is a total travesty. Pain free c/section? yeah, thats why i take care of ladies in the recovery room after their csections and some of them are crying in pain! (some are pain free. some really aren't). Thats why you can get a PCA pump and loads of IV drugs AFTER your csection, you know, b/c it doesn't hurt.

Why do they always pull the "high risk facility" card to justify a high section rate? my hospital is the perinatal referral center for the area, high risk moms and babies-yes, we have a high section rate (31-33 percent), but certainly not close to 70.

How can anyone think major surgery is pain free and safe?

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRose

That's right Rose, I had a C-Section and it was not pain free. It was a much harder recovery than my vaginal birth. I lived in a three story walk-up and I was petrified to carry my new baby up and down those stairs with my fresh abdominal incision. I could not turn in bed without waking up in pain. It sucked. "C-Sections Suck!" I am going to print T-shirts.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterReality Rounds

Rose asked: "How can anyone think major surgery is pain free and safe?"

In the absence of legitimate risk factors that would balance out the risks of abdominal surgery, I don't know. Maybe if I were the one at the helm performing five of them a day, I'd feel pretty cocky about cesareans?

I didn't know you were in a high-risk hospital. You've probably see it all. I'm glad they have someone like you there.

May 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill--Unnecesarean
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