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Pressure on maternity units

8th November 2007

A leading obstetrician has warned that an increase in the number of women giving birth later in life is putting more pressure on maternity units.

Dr Victoria Brace from Aberdeen Maternity Hospital says the associated risks with older women having babies means more funding and training is needed for enough consultants.

A study of more than 500 mothers over three years undertaken by the Scottish Programme for Clinical Effectiveness in Reproductive Health based at the University of Aberdeen, showed more specialists are needed to deal with Caesareans and haemorrhage.

It held the study of mothers aged between14 and 56 – published in the British Journal for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) - to examine why haemorrhage occurs, to provide information so that doctors can learn more to predict it, and act more swiftly.

Dr Brace said: “As women get older the chances of problems increases, they have more bleeding, they have more Caesareans, and other conditions such as problems with blood pressure.

“We need more consultants on the labour ward which means the government funding and training more, and the NHS employing more.?

She said the research highlighted a relatively low consultant presence during the management of major obstetric haemorrhage.

“Adequate staffing of the labour ward, both by midwives and consultant obstetricians, is required to ensure the safety of women during childbirth,? added Dr Brace.

BJOG editor-in-chief Professor Philip Steer the research reveals that when expert help is required in severe cases of heavy bleeding during or after childbirth, it is needed immediately.

 

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