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Babies born in English hospitals at the weekend are more likely to die than those born in the week, according to a study of over 1.3 million births from 2010-12.
According to the BBC, the research team said if all days had the same death rate as safest day, there would be 770 fewer deaths a year. Whilst the death rates are still low, the 7% difference is significant and adds to concerns about the standard of medical care in our hospitals at the weekend.
As well as a higher death rate, the study found that infection rates for mums and baby injuries including brain damage also increased on weekends.
Researchers could not explain the higher risk of death and brain injury. They examined staffing levels and found little difference between hospitals that had the recommended consultant cover and those that did not.
It appears that more information is needed to understand the reasons for the differences and Dr David Richmond, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, agrees that:
‘Although no definitive conclusions can be drawn from these results, they emphasise the need to identify the possible causes in order to ensure that women are receiving high-quality care at any given day of the week.’
At Head Injury UK our specialist birth injury solicitors are concerned about this evidence of higher rates of baby deaths and brain injuries in our hospitals at weekends. If you are concerned that your maternity care led to you or your baby being injured or even sadly your baby's death, and want to know how we can help, please please contact Jenny Shone or call us on 0800 073 0988.
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