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Women having babies older and the risks associated with that, means more funding and training is needed for enough consultants.
An Aberdeen obstetrician believes giving birth later in life is putting more pressure on maternity units. Calling for more gevernment funding and training, Dr Victoria Brace said a study of more than 500 mothers over three years showed more specialists are needed to deal with Caesareans and haemorrhage.
The Scottish Programme for Clinical Effectiveness in Reproductive Health undertook a study to examine why haemorrhage occurs, to provide information so that doctors can learn more to predict it, and act more swiftly. The mothers involved were aged between 14 and 56, with the average just under 31. The researchers said a major haemorrhage can happen quickly and that women need swift care to help them to survive. The study said that such major factors could be improved with more consultants.
Dr Victoria Brace, of Aberdeen Maternity Hospital 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......we need more senior staff."
Dr Brace explained: "The majority of women we studied can be thought of as 'great saves' rather than 'near misses' where good clinical care prevented severe morbidity progressing to maternal mortality. However, our research has 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."
Professor Philip Steer, editor-in-chief of the British Journal for Obstetrics and Gynaecology who published the report said: that the research "reveals that when expert help is required in severe cases of heavy bleeding during or after childbirth, it is needed immediately. In order for such treatment to be provided in a timely manner, more consultants are needed in our labour wards, not just to treat women but also to supervise trainees so that the best care is provided."
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