No initiative to prevent unneeded C-sections
Women are requesting cesarean sections on 12/12/12, although hospitals insist all surgeries are medically necessary.
Women scheduled for 12/12/12 C-sections Photo: Courtesy Kaplan Medical Center
The fact that Wednesday is 12/12/12 and would – according to many – make an
unforgettable birth date has created a frenzy among pregnant women. Instead of
three cesarean sections being performed on an average day at Rehovot’s Kaplan
Medical Center, 12 will be performed at the request of women scheduled to have
the surgery anyway this week.
While Kaplan insisted that it knows of no
women who will have a C-section on 12/12/12 who medically could have a normal
vaginal birth, it did say that “dozens” of women who have to have a surgical
delivery in several weeks and even a month from now asked for a cesarean on
12/12/12, but “we turned them down.”
However, the Rehovot hospital did
print up special t-shirts for the women who will have the operations on
Asked how so many women would undergo cesarean deliveries
during a crippling strike by nurses, the hospital spokesman said: “We made
Operations like cesareans have not be postponed due to the
Obstetrics/gynecology department director Prof. Zion
Hagai said he received many phone calls of women who wanted to deliver on
“Our medical staff checked each request carefully regarding the
mother and the fetus, and only women who were suitable according to the age of
the fetus [and who had to have a C-section in any case] were
Kaplan said that it doesn’t remember such a rush of requests
for delivery for any previous date. It also said that women never ask to deliver
babies on a specific date in the Hebrew calendar.
The Jerusalem Post
asked the Health Ministry whether – given the fact that abroad, giving birth by
cesarean on “special dates” despite the lack of medical reasons for it is common
– it would take preventive action so the craze does not occur here.
example, the ministry was asked if it would send an urgent directive to all
obstetrics departments reminding them that cesareans should not be performed
unless the patients’ doctors decide it is justified medically. But the ministry
said it would not do so, as senior officials did not discuss this option, and
that physicians “should know” that ethically, cesareans are not performed if
they don’t have to.
Abroad, many obstetricians prefer C-sections to
reduce the risk of lawsuits, prefer 9 to 5 hours and scheduled deliveries and
realize that many women “fear” pain from vaginal births, even though epidurals
can easily handle that. The C-section rate in Israel is lower than in other
Western countries, but it also varies drastically within Israel, not only
because of varying cultural and religious groups but also due to socioeconomic
variations and policies of obstetrics departments.
not only cost the health system more because hospitalization lasts twice as long
and they require a surgeon, anesthesiologist and more nurses, but also because
they can cause complications and put a lid on how many more pregnancies a woman