This report about the risks of an elective c-section before 39 weeks of gestation does a credible job presenting the findings of a significant study. It describes the results accurately and with sufficient details.
* The story fails to include information about the cost of the surgery
* The reporter should have talked to at least one independent expert on the subject of vaginal vs. c-section deliveries.
No data comparing costs of c-section vs. vaginal birth is provided.
This is surprising, given the fact that one reason experts discourage elective c-sections is high cost.
The reporter does a diligent job of quantifying the results, using both relative risks and percentage of bad outcomes in the studied population.
The story usefully distinguishes among results for c-sections done at 37, 38 and 39 weeks.
The risk of harm in elective c-sections is the focus of the study, and the news report explains them well.
Overall, good job of describing the size, methods, and implications of the study.
The story does nothing to exaggerate the risks or emotional aspects of elective c-sections.
The story includes quotes from only two physicians, the lead researcher and the author of a related editorial.
That is not sufficient for a story of this importance and length.
At minimum, an experienced OB with no connection to the study should have been consulted.
The story explains the risks of having an elective c-section at 37, 38 and 39 weeks. This information can help women and their doctors determine when to schedule an elective surgery.
The widespread use of c-sections is clear in the story.
The report makes clear, with some level of detail, precisely how common c-sections and elective c-sections are.
We can’t be sure if the story relied solely or largely on a news release. Only an author and an editorial writer were quoted.