Induction may cut the risk of babies dying
The British Medical Journal has analysed 1.2m births in Scotland between 1981 and 2007 and found that babies born after labour is induced have less risk of dying but a higher risk of admission to a special care unit. They also found that there was no increased chance of a Caesarean section contrary to previous findings. The study looked at full term births where inductions happened for non medical reasons such as mother’s choice.The researchers calculate that for every 1,040 women having a planned induction at 40 weeks, one new born death may be prevented but there would be seven more admissions to a special care baby unit than if inductions had not taken place. Inductions are currently carried out in around 20% of pregnancies in developed countries.The research has had mixed reviews. Daghni Rajasingam, a Consultant Obstetrican for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “There were problems relying on retrospective data to come to these conclusions as it may not have been entered properly at the time”. She said there were “good prospective well designed studies showing the link between inductions and Caesareans. She added “Inductions where there are indications are absolutely the right way to go but this paper will not change practice.”Dr Sarah Stock of the University of Edinburgh said: “Women have the choice of induction or waiting. There were concerns about inducing birth but we did not find an increased risk of complications or operational delivery. However we did see an increase in neonatal admissions. We are aiming to give more information to women and their carers about the options that are there”.Julie Crossley, a clinical negligence lawyer at Ashtons Legal notes: “It is interesting research and clearly anything that can be done to reduce new born death is very welcome. However there are differing views and despite the time and extent of the research, it is unlikely that it will change the current practices”.
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