Out-of-hours birth fatal for infant survival

Doctors can predict the date for birth of a baby and as a rule of thumb, generally, the birth of your baby can fall within two weeks of predicted date.  Time of birth of a baby is something difficult to predict.  Generally women rush to hospital, when they feel labour pain and time of baby’s birth fall at any time of the day.  A Scottish study found that the babies that are born outside of normal working hours have lower chances of survival as compared to babies that are born in normal working hours.  The researchers defined normal working hours from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

What did study Comprise of?
The study reported in British Medical Journal analyzed more than one million births in Scotland over two decades.  The team adjusted for a wide range of factors and excluded babies born via planned caesarean, who are usually delivered during the day.

What were the main findings of study?

  • Mothers giving birth during normal working hours, the risk of their baby dying was 4.2 per 10,000
  • Whereas for out of hours, the risk of baby dying was 5.6 per 10,000 at all other times.
  • One in four deaths through oxygen deprivation was directly associated with the risk of being born...

    out of hours.

What are the main reasons for out-of-hours deaths?
More than likely during out of hours:

  • Night staffing is not experienced as compared to physicians available at normal working hours
  • and access to facilities was also a limitation

Dr. Tahir Mahmood, vice-president at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said “all women in labour should be offered one-to-one care by a midwife and an experienced obstetrician. “

Janet Scott, research manager at the charity Sands, said that “Had these babies been born at a different time of day they may well have survived. This is completely unacceptable,” she said.

Although there were some exclusion in the study, none the less outcome of the study was determined as significant.  I agree with Janet, survival rate of baby should not depend on the hours at which it was born.  I hope hospitals address this issue appropriately.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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