Each Baby Counts: Update

“Each Baby Counts” is the Royal College of Obstetrician and Gynaecologist’s (“RCOG”) national quality improvement programme to reduce the number of babies who die (stillbirth or neonatal death) or are left severely disabled as a result of incidents occurring during labour (see earlier blog and https://www.rcog.org.uk/eachbabycounts for more information).

The salient points from the report are as follows:

• Of the nearly 700,000 babies born in 2016, 1,123 babies fulfilled the Each Baby Counts criteria. There were 124 stillbirths, 145 babies who died early and 854 babies who sustained severe brain injuries during labour at term (babies born after 37 completed weeks of gestation).

• In almost half (45%) of these affected babies, guidelines and best practice were not followed. Reasons for not following guidelines included gaps in training, lack of recognition of problems, heavy workload, staffing levels and local guidelines not being based on best available evidence.

• For the babies reported to Each Baby Counts, the reviewers concluded that there was rarely one single cause of the stillbirth, early neonatal death or brain injury. The report identified an average of seven critical contributory factors for each baby where different care might have had made a difference.

• The number of incidents where different care might have led to a different outcome still remains too high, with 71% babies who might have had a different outcome with different care.

Amy Bennett, medical negligence Solicitor who acts on behalf of numerous bereaved families, believes that “The Each Baby Counts project is a significant step towards the recognition of the unacceptable high levels of avoidable stillbirth, neonatal death and brain damage cases as well as recognition of the life changing effects losing a baby or raising a severely brain damaged baby can have on a family. The findings of the 2018 Progress Report do not look promising at all in terms of meeting the targets set but time will tell.

If you or a family member or friend would like to discuss your potential stillbirth, neonatal death or brain damage claim, please contact specialist Stillbirth and Neonatal claim solicitor Amy Bennett on 0208 209 9712.

Alternatively, you can e-mail Amy at abennett@gadlegal.co.uk or fill out our online contact form and she will contact you directly. More information can be found at www.stillbirthclaims.com

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