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Is ACOG Pulling an April Fools Day Prank?

Are elective c-sections becoming a think of the past?  According to a suspicious press release making its rounds around the internet today, The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists are kissing the elective procedures goodbye and making them a thing of the past.

But as someone who knows better, I am more than certain this release is nothing more than an April Fools Day Prank! 

The press release which was first spotted this morning through CNN.com’s iReport feature which allows viewers, and readers to add their own stories has made it virtually everywhere!

The short and sweet release reads:

For Immediate Release— ACOG ANNOUNCES PLANS TO STOP ELECTIVE C-SECTIONS

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) announced today it is devising a comprehensive plan to lower C-section rates in the United States.   C-sections in the U.S. have gone up 700% since they were first measured in 1965, when the C-section rate was only 4.5 percent.

“The nation’s C-section rate has been rising steadily for the last eleven years. It’s now over 31 percent,” said an ACOG spokesperson. “This is a deplorable situation that harms women and their newborns.”   An organization that advocates for quality healthcare for women, ACOG is asking obstetricians to halt elective C-sections.   “C-sections should only be a last resort. They should never be performed for the convenience of the doctor,” the spokesperson said, “or for financial or liability reasons.”

Since the use of electronic fetal monitoring has been shown to increase unnecessary C-section rate without any proven benefit to the mother or infant, ACOG is also calling on American hospitals to stop the routine use of electronic monitoring during labor.   ACOG’s new guidelines encourage women to have freedom of movement during labor, labor standing up or squatting, and to eat and drink at will.

“Cesarean can save lives. But doctors and consumers have to remember that this is major surgery that carries major risk,” the spokesperson said, pointing to the example of 29-year-old Abbie Dorn, who suffered severe hemorrhaging and brain damage after her uterus was nicked during a Cesarean section at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (2006), 32-year-old Diane Rizk McCabe, who died following complications from a Caesarean section at Albany Medical Center Hospital (2007), and Karen Vasques, 27, who died during a C-section at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (2008).

Maternal mortality has risen every year in the United States for the past 25 years, while over the same period the rate of C-sections has gone up 33 percent.    “The skyrocketing rate of C-section in America has had devastating consequences,” the spokesperson said. “ACOG, the most highly respected organization of obstetricians and gynecologists in the United States, is leading the fight to stop it.”

Considering today, April 1st marks the start of Cesarean Awareness Month this certainly could be trick.

What do you make of this?  Real?  Fiction?  And who is behind it?

photo: flickr.com/ceejayoz

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