RPW’s Low Cesarean Section Rates

Primary C-Section rate

2015 2016 2017
RPW rate 13.5%   10.9%   11.2%
National rate 21.5% 21.8% 21.9%
Illinois rate 20.8% n/a n/a
Elmhurst Hospital rate   18.2% 19.7% 17.6%

Total C-Section Rate

2015 2016 2017
RPW rate 22.1%   20.0%   20.2%
National rate 32.0% 31.9% 32.0%
Illinois rate 31.0% 31.1% n/a
Elmhurst Hospital rate   28.3% 30.8% 27.0%


We continuously evaluate how we practice to ensure we provide the best care possible. One marker that is tracked is our Cesarean section (C-section) rates. A primary C-section rate is the number of patients that have their first C-section divided by the total number of patients that have never had a previous C-section. It is important to keep this number low because C-sections are associated with greater risks to both mother and baby. Also, mothers who have already had a C-section face greater risks in their next pregnancy. Some C-sections are unavoidable because of the baby's or mother's condition, including if the baby is not delivering head first or the placenta blocks the opening. Elmhurst Hospital's primary C-section rate is below the national average, but our primary C-section rate is 25% below Elmhurst Hospital's rate and more than 40% below our peers at Elmhurst.

The total C-section rate is the number of patients having their first C-section + the number of patients that are having greater than or equal to their 2nd C-secton and then dividing this by the total number of patients having a baby. Mothers who have had a prior C-section may opt to avoid trying to deliver vaginally with their next pregnancy and plan to have a C-section, or those mothers might try to deliver vaginally again but ultimately fail. We offer most mothers a chance to deliver vaginally after a C-section, if they so choose. Our total C-section rate is 22% below Elmhurst Hospital's rate, 28% below our peers at Elmhurst and 33% below the national rate.