Newspapers have been reporting that the NHS has set aside £235.4 million to settle 60 claims in which babies allegedly suffered brain damage and other complications as a result of undiagnosed hypoglycaemia. The hypoglycaemia was so serious that, in two of these cases, the baby died.
Professor Cathy Warwick, general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "Hypoglycaemia is something that in the majority of cases we should be detecting and preventing…It's incredibly important that women are getting enough care in the postnatal period to ensure they have the information they need and that babies are getting screened and seeing midwives enough to pick up these problems, and that women are getting enough support with breastfeeding."
UNICEF UK Statement
This story shows the tragic outcomes for families when hypoglycaemia of the newborn is not detected and treated in time.
Although the cases are relatively small in number the simple measures required to detect and prevent hypoglycaemia in ‘at risk’ babies should ensure that no baby is left undetected and untreated.
The Baby Friendly Initiative has produced an evidence-based, comprehensive guidance document to support health professionals to develop local guidelines for the detection, prevention and management of hypoglycaemia.
The document includes a checklist to ensure the inclusion of all key aspects of care and an easy to follow flowchart to help guide health professionals when caring for ‘at risk’ babies. The aim of the guidance document is to protect breastfeeding whilst ensuring that safety of the baby is paramount at all times.
Click here to download the guidelines.