One in Three Births is Caesarean, Taking the National Rate to Highest in Decade: Research


A new report released today reveals that the rate of caesarean section deliveries has surpassed one in three births, reaching even higher levels in hospitals located in Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Portiuncula, and Kerry.

According to the report from the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System for the previous year, the national rate of caesarean sections per 100 live births rose from 28% in 2012 to 36.6% in 2021, marking a decade-long high. This places Ireland as the fifth-highest among the 38 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, where the average rate is 28 C-sections per 100 births.

In 2021, St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny recorded a rate of 43.7 per 100 births, while Portiuncula Hospital in Co Galway reported 42.3 per 100 births. Similarly, Letterkenny Hospital and University Hospital Kerry both saw rates exceeding 40 per 100 births.

The report noted variations in caesarean section rates among maternity hospitals in Ireland, cautioning that the findings were based on a high-level analysis that did not consider factors such as maternal age, underlying health conditions, previous caesarean sections, multiple births, or complex pregnancies.

Research into the rising rates of caesarean sections has identified multiple factors contributing to this trend. Among these factors are doctors’ concerns about litigation, cultural and systemic practices influencing intervention thresholds, and the increasing number of obese women giving birth, which can lead to complications necessitating caesarean delivery. Additionally, older mothers, who may have experienced pregnancy loss or infertility treatments, may opt for caesarean sections due to risk aversion and fertility concerns.

Despite these trends in childbirth, the report highlighted significant improvements in outcomes for individuals hospitalized for heart attacks or strokes between 2013 and 2022.

Read More: Click Here