Sonoma Valley Hospital

SVH Recognized For Low C-Section Rate

February 1, 2018

Sonoma Valley Hospital has again been recognized by Smart Care California, a state health care coalition, for its low C-section rate. SVH was one of 111 California hospitals that made the Smart Care C-Section Honor Roll identifying hospitals that meet or surpass the goal of reducing the C-section rate to 23.9 percent or lower. SVH’s rate is 22.5 percent. SVH was previously recognized when Smart Care California reviewed hospital C-section rates in 2016.

“We’re proud to see the high quality of our obstetrics service gaining attention,” said Kelly Mather, SVH CEO. “According to Cal Hospital Compare, SVH also has a higher breastfeeding rate than the state average – 87.3 percent compared with an average of 68.5 percent – and a low episiotomy rate of 3.4 percent compared with a state average of 9.1 percent.  We believe we offer mothers and babies excellent care in our birth center,” she said.

According to California Health and Human Services (CHHS), while life-saving in some circumstances, unnecessary C-sections can pose serious risks to mothers in terms of higher rates of hemorrhage, transfusions, infection and blood clots, and to babies in the form of higher rates of infection, respiratory complications and neonatal intensive care unit stays.

To respond to a rapid rise in unnecessary C-sections across the United States, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted the Healthy People 2020 target of reducing nationwide C-section rates for low risk, first-births to 23.9 percent. In October 2015, Smart Care California began to focus on this issue as well.

“The decline in California’s rate for low-risk, first birth C-sections will lead to healthier babies and mothers,” said CHHS Secretary Diana Dooley. “Thanks to the hospitals and their staff for their hard work in achieving this measurable progress.” 

Smart Care California is a public-private partnership working to promote safe, affordable health care in California. Information is available at Smart Care California.

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