Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Childbirth complications vary widely at U.S. hospitals

Date:
August 4, 2014
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
Huge variations in maternal complications during childbirth across US hospitals have been documented by a new study. Women who delivered by cesarean at low-performing hospitals experienced lacerations, hemorrhage, clots or infections at five-times the rate of high-performing hospitals. Those who delivered vaginally at low-performing hospitals were twice as likely to suffer complications. Researchers determined the low, average or high performing hospitals based upon a calculation of the relative risk that a patient would experience a major complication.

Expectant mothers anticipate a smooth delivery, yet 13 percent of all women in the U.S. experience obstetrical complications. A University of Rochester-led study, published in the August issue of Health Affairs, shows complication rates can vary as much as five-fold among hospitals, prompting researchers to call for the development of a national quality reporting system to improve maternal outcomes for more than 4 million women who give birth each year.

Women who delivered by cesarean at low-performing hospitals experienced lacerations, hemorrhage, clots or infections at five-times the rate of high-performing hospitals -- 21 percent compared to 4.4 percent. Those who delivered vaginally at low-performing hospitals were twice as likely to suffer complications, 22.6 percent versus 10.4 percent at high-performing hospitals. Researchers determined the low, average or high performing hospitals based upon a calculation of the relative risk that a patient would experience a major complication.

"The key finding is that there is significant variability in maternal outcomes across US hospitals. This presents us with an opportunity to identify 'best practices' at hospitals with low rates of maternal complications in order to improve outcomes for patients in all hospitals," said lead author Laurent G. Glance, M.D., health outcomes researcher and vice-chair for research in Anesthesiology at the University of Rochester.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) have launched an initiative to create a platform for measuring and reporting benchmarking information on maternal outcomes. This quality reporting initiative could become a powerful tool for improving maternal outcomes in the United States.

In this study, researchers analyzed 750,000 deliveries in the 2010 Healthcare Cost and Utilization's Nationwide Inpatient Sample. However, Glance considers the findings preliminary because they are based on administrative data which lack information on potentially important risk factors. It is also important to realize that most of these complications, although important, are rarely life-threatening.

Childbirth accounts for one in four hospital discharges, resulting in $100 billion in hospital charges in 2008 alone.

High-risk obstetrician J. Christopher Glantz, M.D., M.P.H., an author on the paper, said there's great value in having this information to quantify the well-known variations in practice and its impact on maternal outcomes. He is working on an American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists initiative to reduce pregnancy-related deaths from severe hypertension, thromboembolism and hemorrhaging during pregnancy and childbirth in New York.

"In the OB field, individual practice styles, training and anecdotal experience shape how we practice, but we didn't expect to see such wide differences in maternal outcomes, which is all we studied here," said Glantz, of the University of Rochester. "For the most part babies and the mothers do well, but we can do even better by studying the hospitals that perform well and following their best practices."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. G. Glance, A. W. Dick, J. C. Glantz, R. N. Wissler, F. Qian, B. M. Marroquin, D. B. Mukamel, A. L. Kellermann. Rates Of Major Obstetrical Complications Vary Almost Fivefold Among US Hospitals. Health Affairs, 2014; 33 (8): 1330 DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1359

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Childbirth complications vary widely at U.S. hospitals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804171345.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2014, August 4). Childbirth complications vary widely at U.S. hospitals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804171345.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Childbirth complications vary widely at U.S. hospitals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804171345.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins