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Doctors To Be More Aware Of Wider Health During Pregnancy

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 09/12/2014

Almost one in 100 UK births leads to a stillbirth or newborn death and up to 100 women die each year during or just after pregnancy.

Thorough checks on pregnant womens health are needed

Therefore the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) appointed MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies - Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK) to run the national Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcomes Review Programme.

As part of this investigation, Oxford University identified that up to half of deaths may be avoided by better care and women having the flu jab. In particular, doctors need to be more aware of women's wider health during pregnancy and pay attention to the risk of severe infection in labour. Severe sepsis and septic shock are medical emergencies. If not recognised and treated quickly, sepsis can eventually lead to multiple organ failure and death. Between 2010 and 2012, around a quarter of maternal deaths were as a result of sepsis.

Sepsis can affect anybody and is in fact one of the UK’s biggest killers, claiming 37,000 lives every year. It can develop very quickly and it is essential that the symptoms are recognised as early as possible. The UK Sepsis Trust via their associated education programme, Survive Sepsis aims to educate health professionals of all disciplines in the importance of early sepsis recognition and management.

It is clear from a comparison of the data that there has been, yet again, a drop in the overall maternal mortality rate and the situation is clearly improving, but whilst much has been achieved, more can be done to improve care. However, Prof Alan Cameron, from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), stresses that maternal deaths in the UK are rare.

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