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Posted on 21st June 2017

Hundreds of baby deaths preventable with better care

A report by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists concluded, in 2015, of 1136 babies who died or suffered brain damage either straight after birth or during labour, 75% may have had a better outcome if given different care. Around one in two hundred babies are stillborn.

The key issues appear to be the monitoring of the baby’s heart-rate and communication between staff.

The study also found 25% of investigations into baby injury or death didn’t go into enough detail to provide any conclusive evidence and only 33% of investigations included the parents of the baby.

Due to the life-long requirements of babies born with brain damage, the NHS has to pay out hundreds of millions of pounds every year because of medical negligence. The report goes on to say that the same mistakes are made each year and hospitals are failing to learn from their mistakes.

The review team lead and Professor of Foetal and Maternal Medicine , Zarko Alfirevic commented “all of us in certain circumstances can make these mistakes time and time again” he went on to say that maternity services must “design out these sorts of mistakes”

The Health Secretary Mr Jeremy Hunt has set a target to halve the rate of stillborn babies by 2030 and commented “While maternal and neonatal deaths are falling, together we need to do even more to make sure fewer families suffer the heartache of losing a baby – and this vital work will help.


Birth injuries account for 25% of all enquiries we receive and this figure will remain the same unless healthcare professionals improve the care they give.

A simple task such as monitoring a baby’s heart beat correctly can avoid catastrophic injuries but it appears from this article that even the simplest of tasks is not performed adequately.

If you or your baby have suffered an injury during childbirth or pregnancy which was caused by a medical professional, you may have grounds to make a clinical negligence claim.

For a free claim assessment, telephone us on 0330 355 9210 or