GIVING all pregnant women an ultrasound scan at eight months would prevent 15,000 breech births annually, a study reveals.
It would also save eight newborn lives each year, experts estimate.
Getty – Contributor Giving all expectant women a late ultrasound scan would prevent 15,000 breech births each year, a study has found
A breech birth is when a baby’s bum or feet emerge first rather than the head, raising risk of complications.
Research on 3,900 expectant mums by Cambridge and East Anglia universities reveals midwives and doctors failed to spot the problem half of the time.
If picked up, medics could try to turn the baby head first, or organise a caesarean section.
Dr Ed Wilson, of UEA, said: “Routine scanning could prevent around 15,000 undiagnosed breech presentations, more than 4,000 emergency caesarean sections and between seven and eight baby deaths per year.”
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The study, in journal PLOS Medicine, says by cutting complications the scans would pay for themselves.
The NHS offers only two scans as standard, at around 12 weeks and 20 weeks.
Prof Basky Thilaganathan, of the Royal College of Obstetricians, said: “This study demonstrates the health benefits of scanning at 36 weeks.”
Getty – Contributor The NHS offers only two scans as standard at 12 weeks and 20 weeks
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