Mercy's Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Discusses Study That Examines Factors Influencing Rise In C-Sections

October 24, 2011
The Bunting Center at Mercy Baltimore

Mercy high risk OB/GYN Dr. Robert Atlas

A new study shows cesarean rates in the U.S. continue to rise in many hospitals partially due to the perception that they're safe.

In the early 1990s, about 21 percent of all deliveries were C-section. The rate is about 32 percent today and, at some hospitals, the rates are even higher.

According to Dr. Robert Atlas, Chair of the Department of Obstetrics at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, there's one main reason for the increase in C-sections.

"I think the fact that the cesarean has become a fairly safe procedure -- that women and people view it as a normal, easy thing to have done. The problem is, it's not that easy," he said.

The study looked at why C-sections rates were rising, including reasons such as fetal heart rate problems, breeched babies, multifetal pregnancies and more obese women having big babies. Also, it looked at the increase in elective C-sections.

"If you need a C-section, you need a C-section. It can save your life, and it can save your child's life," Dr. Atlas said. "But for any friend who wants to know, I would highly recommend trying for a vaginal birth because the complications from recovering from a major surgery are so difficult."

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on FacebookTwitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

News and Events