Tuesday 24 April 2018

Take comfort because our hospitals are among the very safest

IT has been a traumatic week for the nation and it must have been a particularly trying one for an expectant mother, especially one who is threatening to miscarry. But pregnant women, and their families, should take comfort from the fact that Irish hospitals are among the safest in the world in which to have a baby. The tragic case of Savita Halappanavar is a very rare one.

Miscarriage, defined as the loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks, is a sad fact of life. At least 30-40pc of pregnancies end this way. Most happen within the first 12 weeks (first trimester). After the 12th week – in the second trimester – the risk of miscarriage is 2pc-3pc.

Miscarriage in the second trimester might be caused by chromosomal (genetic) abnormalities, cervical insufficiency (weakness of neck of the womb), early pre-term labour, abdominal trauma, congenital birth defects in the baby, blood clotting disorders or problems with the placenta such as placental abruption or separation.

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