Patented: History of Inventions

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Caesarean section

Ep. 87

A hundred years ago next to no one was born via Caesarean Section. Today, one in five new arrivals on planet earth come via a Caesarean. Its meteoric rise is down to an invention most people won’t know. The Foetal Heart Monitor.


This is a story about how the law of unintended consequences led to Caesarean Section becoming the world’s most common major surgery.


Our guest today is Jackie Wolf, is a historian of medicine and author of Caesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence. She’s also a repeat guest on Patented. Go back and check out her episode on Baby Formula if you haven’t heard it.


WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of childbirth and the death of a baby during childbirth.


Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.


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