Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Deaths of 6 women giving birth raise concerns in the NHS

On February 11th, Madeleine Brindley's report: "Serious concerns raised at NHS trust after six women die" appeared on WalesOnline. It perfectly illustrates the unpredictability of vaginal delivery that exacerabates an already unpredictable Mother Nature. I believe that it is not unreasonable that some women (myself included) decide to opt for a planned surgical delivery with a dedicated, guaranteed-to-be-present during the birth, team of health carers.

"The review team found that there was no common link between the deaths, although in two of the cases, if the women’s deteriorating condition had been spotted earlier and better advance preparations had been in place, the outcomes may have been different... The report revealed:

*The trust had the highest proportion of women reporting that they were left alone and worried, in labour or shortly after the birth of their child;
*Staff from lower risk wards are frequently transferred on shift to the higher-risk labour areas, leaving the areas from which they were drawn under staffed;
*Community midwives are frequently required to work in the hospital throughout their on-call shifts after doing a full days work in the community;
*Low-risk labouring women are sometimes left alone while staff attended to higher risk women - the HIW inspectors heard of occasions when induced labour had been halted to allow staff to be rescheduled to other work;
*The numbers of midwives on the labour ward at the Royal Gwent Hospital appear “inadequate” for the size and activity levels on the ward."

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