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Obstetric care must change if Netherlands is to regain reputation for safe childbirth

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 31 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:239

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  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

    The number of deaths of babies during childbirth in Dutch hospitals is considerably higher at night than during daytime, claim two leading clinicians writing in the journal of the Dutch Medical Association (Medisch Contact 2008;63:96-9).

    A lack of 24 hour cover by gynaecologists could be to blame, say the authors, Gerard Visser and Eric Steegers, heads of the obstetric departments of, respectively, the Utrecht university medical centre and the Erasmus university medical centre in Rotterdam. They write that the figures elicit a “strong suspicion” that obstetric departments are less safe outside normal working hours.

    However, they argue that the whole chain of obstetric care, including the …

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