Weekend Is Risky Time to Give Birth, Study Shows
Weekend births are more dangerous for both mother and baby, a recent study has shown and the safest day to be born is a Tuesday.
The study by Imperial College found that 770 deaths a year could be avoided and said the results were 'consistent' with lower standards of weekend care when there can be a higher rate of complications.
Weekend death rate for babies is 7.3 per 1,000.
The study was based on 1.3 million births in England between April 2010 and March 2012.
Infants born on a Saturday or Sunday were found to be 7% more likely to be stillborn or die in their first week of life than those delivered during the week and the study reported a ‘highly statistically significant increase in perinatal mortality at the weekend’.
Infections after childbirth were 6% and the chance of a baby suffering an injury during childbirth was also 6% higher.
Commenting on the study, Medical Negligence Partner, John Pollitt said: “It is worrying that weekend cover, particularly at senior level, is insufficient to deliver a safe paediatric and obstetric service on Saturday and Sunday.
“One would have thought these services would be prioritised because patient safety is so important for vulnerable new borns. It is well recognised that obstetrics and paediatric claims cost the NHS most in negligence claims, notwithstanding the trauma to families and I welcome anything that can improve these risks.”
The NHS are to commission a wider independent review of NHS maternity services in the hope to assess how best to deal with the increasing birth rate and the results of this study.
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