Wednesday 26 April 2017

Staff shortages are at root of baby deaths crisis

Safely staffing maternity units with the right skill mix is central to ensuring high-quality care. (Picture posed)
Safely staffing maternity units with the right skill mix is central to ensuring high-quality care. (Picture posed)
Sara Burke

Sara Burke

Over one year since Hiqa published its damning report into five baby deaths in Portlaoise hospital, news emerged of the death of one new-born baby in Cavan hospital, and the death of another baby after an emergency C-section.

Then there was the death of a pregnant woman during emergency surgery in Holles Street during the last 10 days.

Last year, there were 65,977 births in Ireland, and nearly all of these babies were born safely, with mothers and children healthy. But child birth is an extremely risky affair. Death will be an inevitable outcome in a really small minority of cases, but for most death is, or should be, avoidable.

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