Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospital halves number of babies born with brain damage by implementing NICE guidance

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 11 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2960
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. 1Manchester

    Deaths and brain damage among newborn babies have fallen considerably at a Bristol hospital after staff changed their practice by applying guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

    In 2000 the maternity unit at North Bristol NHS Trust introduced training in the interpretation of electronic fetal monitoring and made it mandatory for all staff to train every year. It also devised forms for reporting the number of infants that needed resuscitation at birth and the incidence of severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, and it developed a surveillance system to detect periods when standards slipped.

    Between January 1998 and December 1999 27.3 infants per 10 000 births were born with brain damage, and 86.6 infants per 1000 births needed resuscitation at birth. But after the introduction of the new surveillance methods (between January …

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