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Danielle Symons Downs, Professor of Kinesiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology

In this discussion, Dennis Scanlon speaks with Danielle Symons Downs, Professor of Kinesiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology at Penn State University, to discuss her research on cesarean section deliveries and opioid prescribing.


Dr. Downs talks about the rise in cesarean section rates and the increased rate of maternal mortality in the United States as compared to other industrialized countries.

5%
1970 C-Section Rate in the US
33%
Current C-Section Rate in the US

Dramatic increase in cesarean section rates in the United States.


Dr. Downs contrasts opioid prescribing rates for vaginal versus cesarean section deliveries and the absence of definitive clinical practice guidelines.


Dr. Downs outlines various alternative pain management options post-cesarean delivery, including non-opioid prescriptions, relaxation therapy, and exercise.


Dr. Downs discusses several initiatives aimed at combating the opioid epidemic and bringing awareness to maternal death rates in the United States. Specific initiatives mentioned include the Penn State Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse and the March of Dimes's #BlanketChange.


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