July 18, 2010

Perinatal mortality could drop by 25% according to study

Filed under: Health by Branko Collin @ 12:12 pm

Scientists of the Erasmus teaching hospital in Rotterdam have found that perinatal deaths (deaths of children between 0 and 7 days old) could be reduced by 25% if midwives and doctors communicated better, Volkskrant reports.

Currently, the Netherlands is a sad infant mortality leader in the European Union with 1 in 100 babies dying between the 22nd week of gestation and the first week of birth. Only France and Latvia are worse off.

Rather than taking responsibility, the union for midwives, KNOV, has responded furiously to the findings of professor Gouke Bonsel. Chairwoman Angela Verbeten berates the Rotterdam scientists for studying forbidden subject matter.

The Netherlands is the only country in the European Union with a sizeable number of home births (around 30% versus statistic noise in most other Member States). It is the midwife’s responsibility to warn a doctor about any complications during a pregnancy.

A 2009 study found that there are no differences between the perinatal mortality rates of home births and of hospital births, even though the latter pool should contain all the complicated births.

Although the reason for the KNOV’s anger is not apparent, it would seem likely that the home birth mafia’s contradictory depiction of home births as both natural and safe has something to do with it.

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