Inquiry into baby deaths and brain injuries during birth
‘Each Baby Counts’
According to figures from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists between 500 to 800 babies die or are left with severe brain injury as a result of something going wrong during the labour.
The college has undertaken a national quality improvement programme: ‘Each Baby Counts’ to seek to reduce the number of babies who die or who are left severely disabled as a result of incidents occurring during term labour. The purpose of the project is to try and reduce these figures by 50% by 2020.
The report reviewed 1,136 stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries that occurred on UK maternity units during 2015:
126 babies were stillborn
156 babies died within first 7 days after birth
854 babies had severe brain injury
At present stillbirth, neonatal deaths and brain injuries that occur due to incidents in labour are investigated at local level. The report however found that local investigations into a quarter of cases were not thorough enough. The Each Baby project team will now bring together the results of the local investigations to obtain an overview and share information from lessons learned.
In recent months Coroners have urged regulators and hospitals to take urgent action to ensure that midwives and doctors are properly trained at interpreting foetal scans.
Clarke Willmott Clinical Negligence team has considerable experience in acting for families where baby has been left with a severe brain injury, following a neonatal death and where a stillbirth has occurred. Please refer to our news article published in May 2017.
Each Baby Counts are currently collating data and stories from families who have been affected, please refer to the website for The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for a secure online reporting system: