Papers And Originals

Neonatal death in Northern Ireland

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 07 October 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:987
  1. Maureen J Scott,
  2. Garth McClure,
  3. Mark McC Reid,
  4. J W Knox Ritchie,
  5. Samuel R Keilty


    A survey of neonatal deaths occurring over two years in Northern Ireland disclosed that many hospitals where babies could be born probably could not be staffed and equipped to deal effectively with major perinatal problems. The incidence of congenital malformations, especially neural tube defects, was high. A reduction in neonatal deaths from this cause might be expected if facilities for antenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy were made available, although this raises grave ethical problems. Many infants died of prematurity and the idiopathic respiratory distress syndrome. A considerable reduction in neonatal deaths might be expected with improved care at the place of delivery backed by a regional centre with facilities for transporting and treating severely ill infants needing intensive care.