Study finds inducing babies at 37 weeks cuts risk of cerebral palsy by more than 25%

Study finds inducing babies at 37 weeks cuts risk of cerebral palsy by more than 25%

A study piloted in Denmark has suggested that inducing babies at 37 weeks can lower the risk of the baby dying or developing a serious health condition, such as cerebral palsy.

The research which was conducted over a 13 year period, and which analysed 770,926 births, found that there was a drop of 26 per cent in the cerebral palsy rate between 2002 and 2010 in babies that had been induced at 37 weeks.

Professor Ojvind Lidegaard, co-author of the study, from the University of Copenhagen, said “We have seen significant reductions in newborn asphyxia, neonatal mortality, macrosomia and peripheral nerve injuries.

“Another similar study we conducted recently also demonstrated a halving of stillbirths following the implementation of proactive labour induction practice.

“Our results therefore suggest an overall improvement in perinatal outcomes following a national change towards a proactive management of post-term pregnancy through labour induction.”

The findings were published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaceology.

John Thorpe, BJOG’s editor-in-chief, said that further scrutiny was needed before the findings were implemented elsewhere.

“Labour induction is a simple intervention, but demands a closer surveillance during labour and hospital settings must be able to support such changes,” he said.

Originally posted by Tony May, partner/head of Clinical Negligence Department, Chadwick Lawrence LLP (tonymay@chadlaw.co.uk ), medical negligence lawyers and clinical negligence solicitors in Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax, West Yorkshire.

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