Previous Albany Press Release
The lawyers for the Kmiecik's and a spokesman for King's College Hospital have said that continuous monitoring of baby Natan would have prevented his death, and that NICE say that continuous monitoring should be used - both of these statements are disputed because there is no evidence that this is true.
AIMS has written to King's asking for the evidence they have that continuous monitoring could have made a difference for this baby. Continuous monitoring has not been shown to reduce the number of babies that die or suffer cerebral palsy, in fact the only positive effect is a very tiny reduction in the number of neonatal fits and no evidence that this is related to longer term outcomes (see www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD006066/frame.html)
NICE guidance (www.nice.org.uk/cg013) says that continuous monitoring should be offered.
There is no evidence that continuous monitoring improves outcomes for vaginal births after caesarean (VBAC), but there is evidence that it increases the rate of unnecessary interventions, hence the reason why many women planning a VBAC make the informed decision not to be continuously monitored.
In the Albany practice this guidance will have been followed correctly, with the risk and benefits of this intervention being explained so that the woman is enabled to make an informed decision; as it is by some midwives within hospitals, including King's.
"I had a VBAC in water at King’s last year. I made an informed decision supported by the midwives in King's that this was best for me and my baby. They used the hand held monitor to check on my baby on a regular basis. It was the most incredible birth and I am so pleased with the way the King's midwives supported me"
However, in many hospitals, including King's, women find themselves coerced to accept continuous monitoring. Many are led to believe they have no alternative than to accept this questionable intervention and have their right to informed refusal taken away. The overuse of continuous monitoring means that many women end up with unnecessary caesareans with all the adverse consequences for themselves and their babies, including some dying.
Contact: Beverley Beech, Email: email@example.com
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