The Advent of the Cesarean section
Jesse Bennett performed the first successful Cesarean section on American soil on this day in 1794. The patient, Bennett's wife, and her infant daughter survived. Cesarean sections have long been part of human culture and myth. Possibly, the name derives from the birth of Julius Caesar, which may have been surgically assisted, or from the Latin verb "caedare," which means "to cut" and the term "caesones," often used to describe a baby born after its mother has died. Throughout most of the 19th century, 75 percent of all attempted C-sections ended with the death of the mother, either because of infection or massive blood loss. During the 19th century, as the study and practice of obstetrics grew and hospitals proliferated, the C-section became more popular and also more successful. Currently, C-sections are performed during one in every four U.S. births.
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