From an article in the December 2nd, 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine some interesting statistics were revealed. These statistics were based on studies conducted by a researcher named Towner, of 600,000 average weight infants born from 1992 to 1994 in California.
In this study 66.5 % were delivered by spontaneous vaginal delivery, 20.1 % by cesarean delivery, 10.2% by vacuum extraction, 2.7 % by forceps and 0.5% delivered by both vacuum and forceps. According to the Towner study, deaths at birth due to these procedures were as follows. Vaginal delivery death rate was 1 per 5000, the vacuum extraction delivery death rate was 1 per 3333, and the forceps delivery death rate was 1 per 2000 births. Also studied was the rate of intracranial hemorrhage caused by these same procedures. Those statistics were, for vaginal birth 1 per 1900, for vacuum delivery 1 per 860, and for forceps birth 1 per 664 births.
Relative to chiropractic, these statistics highlight the extent of obvious damage possible within the birth process. Chiropractors have maintained that birth damage to the nervous system far less obvious than this occurs at an alarming rate with effects on nerve system function that may not be seen for years.