Perinatal care in France is deteriorating and it is the patients who are paying the price. In its new report published on November 21, 2022, the High Authority for Health lists the serious adverse events (EIGS) around childbirth, which occurred between 2017 and 2021. The data is overwhelming: out of 269 accidents, at least half would have could have been avoided. in question ? Delays in treatment and diagnosis which illustrate (again and again) the lack of means and the shortage of hospital staff.
One in two serious perinatal accidents could be avoided
Since 2017, the high health authority has published an annual report listing the adverse events reported by caregivers. For the first time this year, a specific analysis concerned injuries that occurred before, during or after childbirth. Between 2017 and 2021, hospitals reported 269 SAEs. Dramatically, more than half of these accidents resulted in deaths, and the report estimates that one in two SAEs was preventable. While half of the mothers suffered from comorbidities, serious incidents mainly follow delays in diagnosis or treatment, the result of a hospital crisis that is struggling to compensate for a severe staff shortage.
These new data confirm the dysfunctions of the French hospital and deepen the results of the latest alarming public health report on perinatal health, which deplored a 25% increase in perinatal mortality over the past 10 years.
Solutions that require people and resources
The Higher Health Authority proposes three measures to reduce these serious accidents and better identify the risks:
- Continuing education to detect “complex” or “questionable” fetal heart rhythms;
- The revision and globalization of anesthetic and obstetric protocols in the treatment of postpartum hemorrhages;
- Staff training in emergency interventions for mothers and children, through simulation laboratories.
These actions require the intervention of qualified personnel who are seriously lacking in hospitals. While they are sometimes called temporary doctors, others suggest closing small maternity hospitals to group patients into larger centers with more advanced technology.
And if not, could we not rather enable professionals to practice under correct conditions to find a sustainable way to recruit new motivated doctors?
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