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Establishing a National Maternal Morbidity Outcome Indicator in England

As maternal deaths become rarer, monitoring near-miss or severe maternal morbidity becomes important as a tool to measure changes in care quality. It has been suggested that routinely available hospital administration data could be used to monitor the quality of maternity care.

NPEU researchers Manisha Nair, Jenny Kurinczuk and Marian Knight carried out a study to investigate the feasibility of creating a National Maternal Morbidity Outcome Indicator using routinely available hospital maternity data in England.  The study, published in PLoS One, used Health and Social care Information Centre (HSCIC) in-patient data from 6.39 million women giving birth in England from April 2003 to March 2013 and showed that a composite indicator to monitor trends in maternal morbidity outcomes during childbirth can be generated using routine English hospital data, but the quality and reliability of this monitoring indicator is dependent on the quality of the hospital data, which is currently inadequate.

For more details read the paper.

Breastfeeding for at least 3 months reduces risk of infection in babies

New results from a large UK study, conducted by Sarah Payne and Maria Quigley, show that breastfeeding for at least 3 months may reduce the risk of hospitalisation for infection in babies. This reduction of risk was larger in babies who were initially exclusively breastfed. In settings such as the UK, where few babies are exclusively breastfed for 6 months, these results show that shorter durations of breastfeeding may still confer significant health benefits. For more details, read the abstract of the paper.

Children who are born a few weeks early have poorer school performance than their full-term class mates

A study by NPEU researchers Evelyn Chan and Maria Quigley published in Archives of Disease in Childhood shows that children who are born late preterm (34-36 weeks' gestation) or early term (37-38 weeks' gestation) have poorer school performance at age 7 years compared with their full-term class mates. Read the full paper.

New publication on prematurity and developmental delay

A recently published paper by NPEU researchers Maria Quigley, Gry Poulsen, Jenny Kurinczuk and others shows that children who are born just a few weeks early have an increased risk of developmental delay in childhood. Read the abstract.

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