Newborn Dies Of Head Injury: How To Prevent Baby Falls In Maternity Unit
A newborn died of a head injury when doctors failed to catch him in the delivery room. Here are safety tips to reduce drop rates and prevent baby falls in maternity units.
In a tragic incident, a newborn baby died in a hospital in the Argentinian city of Gualeguaychu. The baby died due to an injury sustained in the head after doctors failed to catch him when his mum pushed during delivery. Doctors and health workers will always come in contact with newborns. Hence, there needs to be more effort in teaching healthcare workers how to prevent baby falls in maternity units.
How Can Baby Falls Be Prevented In Maternity Units
The baby sustained the injuries on Thursday afternoon in Sanatorio Pronto clinic in Argentina, but he reportedly died as they transported him to San Roque Hospital in Parana. Claudio Mondragon, the newborn's father was present when the incident happened. He explained that his wife was in labour and was just about to have the baby and when they asked her to push she pushed.
“He came out really fast and no-one grabbed him and he fell to the floor,” he said. “The midwife didn’t have time to catch him and the obstetrician didn’t react. The only thing they did was lift him up from the floor and put him in an incubator and take him to another hospital.”
Investigations led by a local state prosecutor, are ongoing. The findings will determine if his death was the result of medical negligence and whether anyone should face criminal charges.
What mothers should know
A baby's fall is the saddest thing you can ever tell a new mother, not just because of the falling but because it could have been prevented. Though these falls don't lead to death in every case, they do some of the time. Mums also drop their babies in maternity units, the more reason why both mothers and healthcare workers all need to understand safety measures.
It is during activities like changing nappies and bathing the baby that most falls occur. So healthcare professionals should share tips on how to prevent baby falls with new mums.
- Let them understand that it is important to put their babies to sleep on their backs in their cot next to the adult bed.
- Educate them on the risk of falling asleep while holding their babies.
- Advise them not to walk around the maternity unit holding the baby in their arms. Instead, they should use the wheeled cot.
- Encourage new mothers to call for assistance if they need to go to the bathroom. And also, if they want to get the babies out of the cot.
What hospitals and health workers can do to prevent baby falls
- Promote maternal rest.
- Every hour, go round to help tired mothers or other caregivers place infants in bassinets.
- Create a patient room sign for those at high risk of infant falls.
- When a fall does happen, provide emotional support to the family or any involved healthcare professional who may be suffering emotionally.
- Make sure nothing is blocking the mother's path to the bathroom.
- Keep the bassinet where the mother can easily reach and make sure the wheels are locked so it doesn't roll forward.
- Provide schedule rest periods for new mothers to avoid tiredness and exhaustion.
- Monitor mothers who are on pain medication.
As a mum, if you drop your baby, report to the doctor or nurse immediately. There's nothing to be embarrassed about.