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Health Agencies Update
May 17, 2000

An Unkind Cut?

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JAMA. 2000;283(19):2514. doi:10.1001/jama.283.19.2514-JHA00003-4-1

Nearly one of four of cesarean deliveries performed for "lack of progress in labor" may be carried out too early during the birth process, according to a new study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Researchers found that up to 24% of the 294,000 cesarean deliveries performed annually in the United States for lack of progress were in women with a dilation of only 0 to 3 cm. This practice is contrary to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's recommendation that the cervix be dilated to 4 cm or more before a diagnosis of lack of progress of labor.

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