Midwife shortages contributing to 'near misses' on labour wards

September 11, 2003

Midwife shortages are contributing to adverse events and "near misses" on UK labour wards, say researchers in this week's BMJ.

The study took place on the labour wards of seven maternity units in the north west of England. The lead researcher observed the organisation of care on each labour ward, analysed records, and interviewed all midwives on duty.

All maternity units experienced midwifery staffing shortages and most units relied on bank midwives to maintain minimum staffing levels.

High-risk practices (such as giving drugs to induce labour and performing epidurals) continued during midwifery shortfalls in all units. Many adverse events and "near misses" were caused by these shortages, and near misses went unreported in all units. Staffing shortages also prevented uptake of scheduled training sessions.

"We observed many latent failures ("accidents waiting to happen") in this study," write the authors.

Despite the exemplary dedication of midwives, the system cannot operate safely and effectively when the number of midwives is inadequate, midwives are poorly deployed, and they are unable to undertake training and update their skills, they conclude.


Related Adverse Events Articles from Brightsurf:

Cardiac MRI contrast agents carry low risk of adverse events
Contrast agents used to improve views of the heart on MRI carry a very low risk of allergic reactions, vomiting and other acute adverse events, according to a large new study.

Journal calls for use of objective data in root cause analyses of adverse medical events
Quality Management in Healthcare calls for reliance on objective data to introduce new insights on why adverse sentinel events such as medication errors keep occurring.

New research in JNCCN sheds light on multi-organ adverse events from immunotherapy
New international research in the September 2020 issue of JNCCN--Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network finds immunotherapy-related adverse events (irAEs) can impact more than one organ in a single patient.

Police officers face multifaceted, compounding stressors that can lead to adverse events
Repeated exposure to high-stress calls for service and ongoing exposure to stress without relief were two of the contributing factors that could lead law enforcement officers to become susceptible to adverse events while performing their duties, according to a new study published in BMC Public Health by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Low-dose methotrexate associated with small increase in some adverse events
A pre-specified secondary analysis of a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial found that low-dose methotrexate (LD-MTX) was associated with a small to modest increase in the risk for some adverse events, including skin cancer and gastrointestinal, infectious, pulmonary, and hematologic effects in patients at risk for heart disease.

Study investigates rates of adverse events for common rheumatoid arthritis drug
Investigators have been able to far more accurately determine rates of adverse events for people taking methotrexate, finding small-to-moderate elevations in risks for skin cancer, gastrointestinal, infectious, lung, and blood adverse events.

Peer support program can help surgeons deal with adverse events that happen during surgery
Surgeons report on how the first formal surgery-specific peer support program in the U.S. was developed at Massachusetts General Hospital with the goal of helping surgeons and surgical trainees deal with not only adverse events that happen during an operation, but also catastrophic patient outcomes and long-term litigation cases.

Study identifies human performance deficiencies associated with adverse surgical events
In the surgical setting, the concept ''to err is human'' could potentially be a matter of life and death.

Postpartum transfusions on the rise, carry greater risk of adverse events
Women who receive a blood transfusion after giving birth are twice as likely to have an adverse reaction related to the procedure, such as fever, respiratory distress, or hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), compared with non-pregnant women receiving the same care, according to a new study published today in Blood Advances.

Adverse events during first years of life may have greatest effect on future mental health
A Massachusetts General Hospital study has found evidence that children under 3 years old are most the vulnerable to the effects of adversity -- experiences including poverty, family and financial instability, and abuse -- on their epigenetic profiles, chemical tags that alter gene expression and may have consequences for future mental health.

Read More: Adverse Events News and Adverse Events Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.