Most expectant moms aren’t expecting a c-section...and don’t want one. Okay, maybe there are a few who do. But since current stats show that nearly a third of babies in the U.S. are now delivered by cesarean section, it’s smart for women to be prepared. And a report released today is urging hospitals to use special boots to make the operation even safer. According to new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, hospitals should now routinely strap special inflating boots on women’s legs during the operation to prevent the risk of a blood clot. These boots are already used for many other major operations.
The clots are called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and the danger is when they travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs. . . when they become a dangerous pulmonary embolism. Women are especially prone to clots during the few weeks before and after birth when the blood changes in order to protect against excessive bleeding during childbirth.
Fortunately the risk of DVT is rare—about 2 in every 1000 pregnant women—and it’s thought that even that risk can be cut dramatically with the boots. Unlike most of the boots being urged on women this season, these medical boots only add about $14 to the cost of c-section care. And they can usually be tossed out by the second day after surgery.