New figures strengthen Furness General Hospital maternity care calls
Last updated at 16:37, Monday, 04 March 2013
SIXTY-EIGHT women needed the most critical emergency caesareans – which medical guidance specifies should be performed within 30 minutes – at Furness General Hospital in Barrow last year.
Figures obtained by the Evening Mail from the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust show there were 339 caesareans at FGH in 2011/12, including 189 emergencies. Of these, 68 were classed as category one, where the danger to mothers and babies is gravest.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence say “crash” caesareans should be completed within 30 minutes of the decision to operate. And, the RCOG adds: “Certain clinical situations will require a much quicker decision to delivery interval (DDI).”
Campaigners fighting to keep consultant-led maternity services in Barrow say the figures demonstrate that withdrawing the full service from Furness will risk the lives of mothers and babies.
One couple who know the danger that “crash” situations pose are Denis and Beth Horan. After going into labour 15 weeks early on December 10 last year, Ms Horan had a placental abruption, where the placenta breaks away from the uterus wall, and begins haemorrhaging – a typical category one case.
The 30-year-old mum, of Coniston Road, Barrow, said: “Within five minutes I was taken from the labour ward into theatre and was having my baby – it was as quick as that.
“If they hadn’t been able to do that in Barrow, I don’t know what would have happened, to Lucy and to me.
“The risk of losing both of us was very high.”
The Horans’ story is just one example of hundreds gathered by Thousand Voices volunteers, who fear Barrow’s consultant-led maternity unit may be downgraded.
Reacting to the figures obtained by the Evening Mail, which also show the number of caesareans, emergency sections and category one cases were all higher during 2011/12 than the previous two financial years, campaign organiser, Mandy Telford, said: “That’s a black-and-white reason why we need to keep full staffing here.”
Ms Telford also hit out over UHMBT’s recent decision – subsequently reversed – to temporarily transfer all non-routine births to Lancaster.
She added: “It’s incredibly useful to have information like this because, essentially, we’re just a bunch of mums who have our own stories and other people’s stories. That’s powerful, but these are hard facts.
“If these women and babies can’t have these operations within those vital minutes, they’re going to die.’’
Responding, UHMBT chief executive, Jackie Daniel, said: “Thankfully the wider NHS worked together on a solution to the issues, and the temporary move of the maternity and special care baby unit at FGH did not need to take place.
“However, we had plans in place to ensure emergency cases were dealt with safely and appropriately at FGH.”
First published at 16:30, Monday, 04 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Really needs to be kept here, me and my wife are wanting another baby but this lot doesnt help matters, if there are problems try managing the department and the hospital properly, thats what managers are meant to do !!!
Really Ms Daniels. You did not even have any ambulances. BEGGERS BELIEF!!!!!