Las Vegas rally brings attention to high rate of cesarean births

Anna Glenn was 37 weeks into her pregnancy when she went for a routine visit to her obstetrician.

Her pregnancy had been fine, but she said her doctor then told her that her baby didn’t appear to be growing properly and might weigh 2 pounds, at best. She said he also told her that the child was nearly certain to have major problems if he didn’t do a cesarean, or C-section, the delivery of a fetus by surgical incision through the abdominal wall and uterus.

"He said I needed it right away for the baby’s safety," she recalled at a Las Vegas rally that was part of a nationwide Labor Day effort by women to bring attention to a C-section rate more than double the rate promoted by the World Health Organization.

Glenn, 24, said she feared for her baby’s welfare and went through with the C-section, major abdominal surgery that, when necessary, can save a mother and her child from injury or death.

"But Sophia was born at Spring Valley Hospital at right about 6 pounds, with no problems," the mother of two said. "I found out later the reason he was in such a hurry to do a C-section is that he was going on vacation. I was furious. I got a severe infection in the scar from the C-section that took me a year to get rid of. I fired that doctor and got another one for my second baby."

More than 100 women and their families rallied Monday morning outside the Pinkpeas Pregnancy and Parenting Care Center at the corner of Valley View and West Charleston boulevards. At the rally, it wasn’t difficult to find young mothers who believe doctors are performing C-sections as a matter of convenience and for profit rather than medical necessity.

Repeatedly, they pointed out to government statistics that show C-sections pose a greater risk of surgical complications and a greater chance of problems or death for both mother and baby. The March of Dimes has suggested that healthy pregnancies should go to at least 39 weeks.

"It’s a shame many women feel they can’t trust their doctors," said 27-year-old Jackie Watson, who said she was also talked into a C-section she later found out was done for the doctor’s convenience. "It’s hard to know when they’re telling you the truth."

One obstetrician, Dr. Steven Harter, also showed up at the sun-lit rally where women carried signs with messages that included "Know Your Options" and "Women Are Not Broken Don’t Try to Fix Them."

"I think it’s great women are becoming more educated about options," said Harter, one of the few local doctors who encourage women to have a VBAC, or vaginal delivery after having a C-section. "They need to feel empowered to ask questions."

Nationally, about one in three deliveries is now done by C-section, with the number slightly higher in Nevada at 36 percent. In 1965 only 4.5 percent of births nationwide came by cutting a baby out of a mother’s belly.

Women don’t want to be in an adversarial relationship with doctors or hospitals, said Jessica Sullivan, local organizer for the event sponsored by Improvingbirth.org, a California-based organization dedicated to improving maternity care.

Sullivan said there are times, of course, when an emergency C-section is necessary, but she believes there are financial incentives for the surgery to be performed far more often.

A Las Vegas Review-Journal series on C-sections published in April found support for Sullivan’s contention. In 2010, for instance, moderate C-section deliveries, those with no major challenges, ran up hospital charges at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center of more than $25,000 each, compared with vaginal deliveries at about $12,000.

Dr. Jerry Reeves, an executive with Health Insight, which is dedicated to improving the quality of health care, pointed out that C-sections – now the most common surgical procedure in the nation’s hospitals – have become a major profit center in many hospitals, so there’s not much incentive to reduce them.

Ninety percent of patients who received a C-section in Clark and Washoe counties in 2010 were insured while just 29 percent of uninsured patients received C-sections. C-section rates at Spring Valley, Summerlin, Southern Hills and St. Rose Domincian Hospital-Siena – all Las Vegas Valley hospitals that largely cater to insured patients – were higher than 41 percent.

University Medical Center, which sees more low-income patients, had a rate of 29 percent.

"It seems obvious that the better off a woman is, the better her chance of receiving a C-section," Reeves said.

Although physicians may make only a few hundred dollars more off a C-section than a vaginal delivery, elective C-sections can be scheduled well in advance, allowing the doctor to see more patients to increase the doctor’s bottom line, Reeves said.

Though the ideal rate of cesareans is unknown, the World Health Organization and U.S. public health agencies suggest a number no higher than 15 percent, largely because C-sections pose a greater risk to mother and baby. During a six-year period ended in 2010, Nevada hospital discharge data show that vaginal births resulted in a 4.5 percent complication rate, compared with a 9.5 percent complication rate from cesarean sections.

Over that same time frame, when nearly 97 percent of C-sections and vaginal births were in the mild or moderate severity categories, 10 women died during 55,940 cesareans and four died during 100,275 vaginal deliveries.

Though a 2010 government report suggests 37 percent of annual deliveries should be VBACs, more than 46 percent of the 12,000 C-sections in Nevada in 2010 were repeats. Just 261 Nevada women who had prior C-sections, or 0.77 percent of total deliveries, gave birth without surgery.

Anna Glenn couldn’t stop smiling Monday about the VBAC birth of Silas at Summerlin Hospital 10 months ago.

"I’m so grateful to Dr. Harter for making it possible," she said. "There were no problems at all."

A VBAC carries a small risk. Less than 1 percent of the time in such deliveries a life-threatening rupture can occur along the scar left by the previous cesarean. During a VBAC, a surgeon and anesthesiologist should be immediately available at the hospital, according to guidelines stipulated by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Harter stressed Monday that he believes fewer C-sections would be done if doctors didn’t have to worry about lawsuits. He believes that doctors seldom get sued for doing a C-section when it appears that there could be trouble with a pregnancy, but doctors will often be sued if they don’t.

"That’s one reason so few doctors don’t do VBACs," he said.

Because she couldn’t find a doctor who would perform a VBAC, Phelicia DeRosier said Monday that she had her child at home almost a year ago with a midwife.

"It was very easy," she said as she held 11-month-old Cross.

Dr. Jeffrey Wrightson, the chief of obstetrics at UMC, whose office is just a few blocks from where the rally was held, said Monday that he hopes the women who attended the rally will put pressure on insurance companies.

"The way it is now, there is no financial incentive for doctors to do more vaginal deliveries," he said.

Wrightson does VBACs because he thinks women should be able to experience the joy of a more natural delivery.

"But if you practice ethical medicine, you should not get paid less," he said.

Contact reporter Paul Harasim at pharasim@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2908.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Toronto Attack Suspect Charged in Van Attack
Toronto Attack Suspect Charged in Van Attack According to the Associated Press, 25-year-old Alek Minassian was charged with 10 counts of 1st degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. Minassian appeared in court Tuesday morning after mowing down and killing 10 people in a rented van Monday in downtown Toronto. 15 others were also injured in the attack. Authorities have not announced a motive. “As was indicated last night by our public security minister, at this time we have no reason to suspect that there is any national security element to this attack, but obviously the investigations continue.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
9 Dead and at Least 16 Injured as Van Hits Pedestrians in Toronto
9 Dead and at Least 16 Injured as Van Hits Pedestrians in Toronto The driver of the van is now in custody after climbing the curb and plowing through crowds of people. Witnesses describe a scene of chaos as the trail stretched about one mile before coming to a stop. Witness, via CTV Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made initial statements after learning of the incident. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
High School Senior Wins Writing Scholarship
Kye "Kai" Catarata was presented with a $1,000 scholarship at the Las Vegas Writer's Conference Saturday at the Tuscany Suites and Casino.
It's a Boy! Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Third Child
It's a Boy! Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Third Child Kensington Palace announced that Prince William and Princess Kate traveled by car to the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in central London Monday. The child was born at 11:01 a.m. local time, weighing 8lbs 7oz. Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well. Kensington Palace The new addition will be fifth in line to the throne, Queen Elizabeth II's sixth great-grandchild and third grandchild of Charles, Prince of Wales. Catherine and Harry married in 2011 and have two other children, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, who turns 3 next month.
Dr. Abbatangelo: Professor, Pageant Queen and Animal Dentist
Dr. Tina M. Abbatangelo, a professor of clinical practice at UNLV dentist school spends her free time and money traveling across the country to help treat exotic animals.
Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with RJ
Joseph Otting, U.S. comptroller of the currency during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Otting oversees all national banks, credit unions, mutual savings banks, coops and the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks in the United States. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Paris Wade discusses about his “Liberty Writers” website
Paris Wade, who made national headlines for operating a fake news website and boasts about getting President Donald Trump elected in 2016, speaks during an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday, April 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Wade is running for Nevada Assembly. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers.
Las Vegas Metro police and Henderson police officers ride their bikes during the Vegas Team's last practice rides in preparation for the Police Unity Tour from New Jersey to Washington D.C. to commemorate fallen officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review Journal @bizutesfaye
UNLV students walk out of class on national walkout day
UNLV students and supporters chanted, marched and rallied on national walkout day Friday, April 20 on the 19th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Captain Sasha Larkin Discusses Challenges, Progress in North West
Captain Sasha Larkin, of Metro's Northwest Area Command, discusses what issues face the northwest valley's residents and what police are doing to address them.
Southwest giving passengers on deadly flight $5,000 for compensation
Passengers on Flight 1380 have been receiving checks as a gesture of goodwill from the airline.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
LVMPD Arrests Suspect in Sunset Park Shooting
Captain Robert Plummer held a press conference at LVMPD headquarters Thursday to provide updates on the arrest of Anthony J. Wrobel, accused of killing a Venetian executive and wounding one other in a shooting on Sunday.
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story
Two Black Men Arrested at Starbucks Share Their Story Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson sat down with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Thursday and said the Starbucks manager called the police two minutes after they arrived. Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' Donte Robinson, to 'Good Morning America' The men were meeting with a friend for a business meeting at the store’s location at around 3:45 pm on April 12 and declined to make any purchases. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a public apology and vowed to fix the issue by closing 8,000 stores nationwide next month for training on unconscious bias. Both Nelson and Robinson were released without charges after spending hours in jail, and the manager is no longer with the company.
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots
Hero Southwest Pilot Was One of the Navy’s First Female Fighter Pilots Tammie Jo Shults is being called a hero after safely landing the crippled Southwest Flight 1380 in Philadelphia. According to a spokesperson, Shults began her Navy career in 1985 and was one of the first female pilots to “transition to tactical aircraft.” She served for another eight years before moving to the Naval Reserve, retiring completely in 2001 with the rank of Lt. Commander. The Southwest flight, which was headed for Dallas from New York, was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines blew. One passenger was killed in the explosion when shrapnel flew through a window. Seven others suffered minor injuries aboard the flight, which carried 149 people. Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News Passenger Peggy Phillips, to NBC News
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Artist, Community Paint Winchester Skate Park
Andrew Schoultz, a Los Angeles-based artist with an upcoming exhibit at UNLV's Barrick Museum, painted the skate park at Winchester Cultural Center on Tuesday.
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
David Copperfield executive producer testifies during the magician's civil trial
A British tourist is suing illusionist David Copperfield saying he was injured during a trick. Chris Kenner, executive producer for illusionist David Copperfield, was on the witness stand all day Tuesday, April 17. Kenner testified that a business manager for the show talked to the man after he fell. Kenner testified that the tourist, Gavin Cox, said he was OK moments after the fall. Cox later told the crew: “Maybe I will have this looked at.” Copperfield is the next witness in line for Cox’s attorneys. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
CCSD Teacher Is a Living Organ Donor
June Monroe speaks about her kidney donation to her brother and advocacy work with the National Kidney Foundation.
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest
Shadow Ridge High School teachers protest. Teachers are upset over many things, including the fact that the district is fighting an arbitration ruling for pay raises. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Clark County commissioners debate getting rid of Henderson, North Las Vegas constables
Clark County commissioners are debating whether to get rid of the Henderson and North Las Vegas constables after RJ's story pointing out questionable spending by the Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing
1 Dead, 7 Injured After Southwest Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing Dallas-bound Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 out of New York, which had 143 passengers and a crew of five onboard, landed in Philadelphia on Tuesday. According to NBC10, a female passenger was partially sucked out of a broken window, which was a result of the plane's engine ripping apart. It's not known if the female passenger was the one who died. Emergency personnel met the battered plane upon its landing. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the blown engine resulted in a smashed window and a damaged fuselage. Southwest Airlines The FAA said that the NTSB will lead the investigation into what happened.
Single vehicle crash kills man
A man died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Las Vegas. The crash occurred Tuesday morning on the 1900 block of Pasadena Boulevard, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Mt. Hood Street. Police had few details, but Metro's fatal detail was on the scene investigating.
Sunset Park Homicide (update 2)
LVMPD gives update about suspect in homicide at Sunset Park (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide (update)
Update from LVMPD on Sunset Park homicide. Releasing suspect's name (Blake Apgar)
Sunset Park Homicide
Police give details about Sunset Park homicide on Sunday, April 15, 2018. (Blake Apgar)
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care
Parents of autistic child talk about their experience waiting for care. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Local
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cabana Market Shooting -- Persons of Interest
On February 3, 2018 at approximately 1:57 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a parking lot located in the 3900 block of East Owens Avenue to investigate a report that a man had been shot. Responding officers located an unresponsive adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Life
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like