Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The human cost of poor maternity services -too many dead babies and many more may be damaged too - Robin Burn.

Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydful 
Twenty stillbirths and six cases of babies dying shortly after birth are part of  a Cwm Taf Health Board inquiry, October 2018. Cwm Taf serves several very deprived valleys' communities.

The journey of human birth is said to be the most dangerous in human life. Its a shame that in the modern health care system catastrophic life changing and even fatal mistakes are being made and subsequently repeated. Here Robin Burn explains how damage occurs if problems during birth are not picked up and action taken.





Again and again the same patterns recur. In 2007, the Royal college of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists inquiry “Each baby counts, examined more than 700 recent neonatal deaths and injuries.

It reported that 3 out of every 4 babies may have had a different outcome, had they received different care.

This revelation has been a long time coming, and the results are not surprising, as this phenomenon has been recognised for over 20 years.

The report recently released, examined 1136 stillbirths, neonatal deaths and brain injuries during 2015. In many of the 727 cases reviewed in depth, problems with accurate assessment of foetal well-being during labour, and consistent issues with staff understanding and processing of complex situations, including interpreting baby heart-rate patterns, were cited as significant factors.

In his book, published in 2003,entitled “Children who do not look you in the eye, The Secrets of Autistic Behaviour”,Professor Antonio Parisi, a neurophysio-pathologist, working at the University of Naples, discusses in length the prenatal causes of encephalitic disturbance (brain injury) in the Chapter entitled “Etio -pathogenesis of autism” p 41 (1)

Parisi, commenting in his book, particularly concentrated on hypoxia (lack of oxygen) following too rapid or over lengthy labour, leading to brain damage, despite the natural protection of the brains of new-born babies should be less vulnerable to to a lack of oxygen than those of adults. Hypoxia is also the cause of brain injury during delivery (associated with the use of forceps or suction devices) and other neurological effects such as autism. Hypoxia is undoubtedly the most risky factor. Dystocia (problems slowing birth) can also accentuate this process.



This is a common occurrence in the case of autistic children, says Parisi, “Our research team often encounters one cause of brain injury which seams to provoke similar vulnerability to a second pathogenic cause of brain injury. Most cases of brain injury occur around birth.

This is an extremely important finding and suggests that still not enough is done to prevent brain injury during delivery in some UK hospital delivery units.



(1)  Parisi, Antonio, Children who do not look you in the eye,

The secrets of autistic behaviour.

      Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane,2003.

      ISBN 88-8114-0597-3


Dr.Antonio Parisi, assists Dr. David Delacato at the Delacato Clinics

in Sorrento and Milan for the rehabilitation of children and adults on

the autistic disorder spectrum existing since the 1970’s.



Robin Burn I Eng FIMMM

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