Quality and Safety Performance Reports > OPC_02 Quality and Safety Performance Reports
Cesarean Section

What are we tracking and why? 

We track the percentage of patients who have a cesarean section for the first time because we want to be sure we are not performing cesarean sections unnecessarily. A cesarean birth can be life-saving; however, the increase in the national cesarean birth rate from 1996 to 2011 did not show significant improvements in outcomes.

We want to ensure the healthiest outcome for a pregnancy, both for the mother and the baby. We recommend cesarean deliveries only after careful review of the clinical situation and best practices. The most common indications for a cesarean section include abnormal labor patterns, fetal distress, incorrect position of the baby, multiple gestations and suspected large baby.

How are we doing?

Please note:
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRB) and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital are referral centers for routine pregnancies and deliveries in the National Capital Region Multi-Service Market . WRB is the referral center for high-risk pregnancies and complicated deliveries.

What are we doing to improve? 
We use national guidelines and current data on abnormal labor patterns to safely reduce the rate of first-time cesarean sections. We use a standardized approach to the interpretation and management of fetal heart rate monitoring. We encourage the use of External Cephalic Version, a manual procedure used for breech presentations to enable vaginal delivery. We promote vaginal delivery for twins if the first twin is in the head-down position.

If a cesarean is requested by a patient for a non-medical reason, a counseling session with an obstetrician and review by the OBGYN staff is required.

What can you do?
Please contact us with any questions or concerns.