Remember when I was talking about how hospitals are not created equal? Well the other day I read an interesting study analysis about variations of inductions according to the TYPE of hospital.
The analysis compared the rates of induction between community hospitals and university hospitals and found that the likelihood of induction was higher in community hospitals than in university hospitals. It is noted that the rates of inductions seemed to hold steady between the two, even with higher induction rates, but that difference wasn’t explored (although I have some theories).
The breakdown is listed at the Unnecarian as follows:
The comparison of labor induction rates at university versus community hospitals was notable:
~ at 37 weeks, the odds were 1.7:1, or about a 50% higher risk at community hospitals**<
~ at 38 weeks the odds were 1.8:1, or about a 54% higher risk
~ and at 39 to ≤42 weeks, the odds were 2.0:1, or about a 60% higher risk
While the analyzer at Unnecarian blog expressed surprise, I have to admit, the findings don’t surprise me at all. I’ve lived in rural areas for all my child-bearing years. The nearest hospitals that do labor and delivery were community hospitals and they would service women in a 40-50 mile radius OR MORE.
More than once I heard from nurses and OBs when finding out hospital policy that they often induce women “so they don’t have to worry about giving birth on the side of the road”. Something that doesn’t happen often at all, even WITH a 45 minute drive, but women near the end of pregnancy can be easily swayed by seeming logic delivered by someone in a position of authority.
One thing that stood out to me in the analysis was the number of inductions still being done prior to week 39. As we’ve discussed, inductions before week 39 are linked to a huge increase in health care costs, and potential risks for the baby.
Do you interview your hospital before deciding on where to give birth?
I have a friend who lives 5 minutes from a birthing hospital, but their unfriendly policies and tendencies made her decide to drive an hour to a better hospital in another area. This study does highlight to me that it’s important for women to realize that not every hospital is the same and they should interview and question before making a final decision.