Birth accident news
Birth accident risk rises at night says top doctor
Mothers and their new-born babies are at risk of suffering a birth accident because of staff problems at night, according to the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr Tony Falconer.
He said that a disproportionate number of NHS compensation payments are being made over claims of medical negligence related to babies born overnight.
Inexperienced doctors who were working at night sometimes performed unnecessary caesarean sections, resulting in birth injury to the baby, or were unaware of post-operative complications.
Other staff members were also likely to be less experienced than those who worked in the daytime and could lack technical skills in helping to avoid a birth accident.
Although in his interview with The Guardian newspaper Dr Falconer stressed he did not want to frighten people about the quality of care at night, he said there was a different standard comparing 3pm with 3am in most hospitals.
He said if more senior doctors were available, fewer birth accidents and consequent personal injury and negligence claims were likely to occur.