Palomar Health Hospitals Make Maternity Honor Roll


The California Health and Human Services Agency has placed both Palomar Medical Center Poway and Palomar Medical Center Escondido on the “Maternity Honor Roll” for achieving low cesarean sections (C-sections) rates for 2020. This was the third year in a row for Escondido and second year for Poway.

Reducing the number of C-sections has been a point of emphasis for the Agency as data shows overuse of C-sections can result in higher complications for both mother and child, such as infections, blood clots, respiratory complications and lower breastfeeding rates.

The California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative’s Maternal Data Center shows some hospitals have C-section rates of more than 40%. The State has established a target of 23.9% or lower to make the Maternity Honor Roll. Overall, the Palomar Health system had an 18.4% rate in 2019, the year in which the data was calculated. Palomar Health Escondido had a rate of 17.8% and Poway had a rate of 20.1%.

The Agency says reducing C-section rates starts with hospital culture involving physician practice changes, nurse education, support staff and families. Collaboration and communication is essential.

Each year more than half a million babies are born in California.

Photo caption: Babies born through C-sections have higher risks for complications

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