Sunday, November 22, 2009

And another baby dies.

Just one day after my blog on Friday of the same subject, I read again - this time in The Irish Times - how a baby boy suffered severe head injuries and died after a failed attempt at an instrumental vaginal delivery.

Georgina O'Halloranan writes that 'Parker Meredith Doyle died just one day and 10 hours after his birth by emergency Caesarean section on April 18th, 2008' at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street in Dublin. He was 'left severely brain damaged due to brain haemorrhage as a result of 'an attempted instrumental vaginal delivery' using a vacuum cup and forceps.'

What makes it worse
It is reported that the baby's mother, Caroline Meredith, had endured a 'failed forceps delivery 13 years earlier which had resulted in injuries to her baby'.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is evident that this baby's life would have been saved with a planned cesarean delivery, but surely in this case at least (i.e. with the mother's previous birth experience) the medical team might have made a safer delivery decision even without this benefit?

Media headline irony
It is also worthy of note that on the same day that the above article was published in The Irish Times, The Irish Independent published an article titled, 'C-section birth rate still too high', criticizing Irish hospitals for failing to reduce their cesarean rates.

Does Ireland really want to see its cesarean rates fall to dangerously low levels? Or are its obstetricians going to ignore media pressure (and other pressure from natural birth advocates), and concentrate solely on the best outcomes for mothers and their babies - regardless of where that leaves percentage rates?

I hope for the sake of babies like Parker Doyle that it is the latter...

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