The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a new guideline that aims to reduce the rate of premature births in the UK.
Each year, 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK. Sadly, the reality is that some of these babies will not survive, or may suffer with long term health complications.
The new guideline, which is aimed at both health professionals and women at risk of giving birth prematurely, sets out the best treatment pathways for those at risk, including women who are having a planned pre-term birth.
The guideline describes treatments which can be used to prevent or delay early labour and birth. It recommends the need for increased support and information for women at risk, and guidance for health professionals as to what medication they should be given during their pregnancy.
Clinical mistakes in premature births
Although the new guideline aims to reduce premature birth rates, complications during pregnancy, including premature delivery, can cause serious and sometimes fatal consequences for mother and baby, and it is an unfortunate reality that errors are sometimes made during the management of a pregnancy.
A serious injury suffered by a child whilst in the womb or at birth could result in long term complications with life-long care needs, and thought needs to be given to the child's well-being as it grows.