RCOG says better care during labour could prevent many birth injury deaths

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has issued its report following its investigation into birth injuries to babies. In it, they state that different care – in particular better monitoring of the foetal heart rate during labour – could lead to different outcomes for many of the babies who are injured or stillborn. Tami Frankel medical negligence specialist at Gadsby Wicks said: “In our experience, inadequate monitoring during labour and a failure of staff to react promptly and appropriately are significant factors in the majority of the birth injury cases we handle.”


Each Baby Counts

The report – Each Baby Counts – looked at stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries to babies that occurred in 2015 in maternity units in the UK. From the findings, it estimates that up to 3 out of 4 of those babies would have fared better if they had received different care.


Lack of reporting

Also highlighted by the investigation was the lack of information regarding many of the cases where a baby had been injured at birth. Of the 1,136 incidents recorded, only three quarters could be reviewed in-depth to analyse what happened to cause the injury. This makes it more difficult for maternity units to learn from mistakes.


Better care can prevent birth injuries

The RCOG recommends four key areas for improvement, to help reduce the number of avoidable birth injuries:

  • assessment of foetal monitoring needs for all mothers on admission
  • annual training of staff on interpretation of foetal heart-rate monitoring
  • supervision of delivery suite activity by a senior member of staff
  • inclusion of parents in local reviews


“It is heartbreaking for any family to lose a child,” says Tami. “The suffering that parents go through when they know that their baby’s death could have been prevented is unimaginable.

 “Ever since Gadsby Wicks opened its doors in 1993, we have been acting solely for people who have suffered because of medical negligence. Sadly, this report highlights some of the real deficiencies in maternity care that we continue to see in many birth injury claims. I’m sure people will be shocked to learn how many of these devastating incidents could have been avoided.”


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If you think your maternity care contributed to your baby’s birth injury, you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence compensation. Contact us now in confidence on 0800 312 3112 or make an enquiry here

Posted 21st June 2017 | Posted in Birth Injury,Birth Injury to babies,Neo-natal death and stillbirth