04 Oct 2022

Maternity staff gather for masterclass on reducing neonatal birth injury

Brain injury during labour among most devastating outcomes

Maternity staff gather for masterclass on reducing neonatal birth injur

Midwest midwives Susan Leahy, Patricia Lenihan and Brenda O’Halloran, UMHL, at the masterclass

Staff from maternity units all over Ireland gathered in Limerick for a training and education event aimed at reducing neonatal brain injury.

The two-day CTG masterclass was hosted by UL Hospitals Group at the CERC Building, UHL, and attracted dozens of midwives, midwife managers, consultants and NCHDs from the four corners of Ireland, north and south.

This is the fifth such masterclass hosted by the Maternal and Child Health Directorate, UL Hospitals Group, and the event is run free-of-charge for these professionals to help improve perinatal outcomes.

This latest masterclass was led by Dr Edwin Chandararan, lead consultant in labour ward and lead for clinical governance at St George’s University Hospital, London, and by Dr Susana Pereira, consultant in obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine, Kingston Hospital NHS Trust.

CTG (cardiotocography) allows obstetric and midwifery staff record fetal heartbeat and contractions during labour and the technique is essential in detecting early signs of fetal distress, including hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Brain injury during labour is among the most devastating outcomes in medicine and through its series of masterclasses, UL Hospitals Group, is demonstrating its commitment to reducing it.

“A primary action for meeting this priority is through multidisciplinary training and education events such as our CTG masterclass,” said Margaret Quigley, director of midwifery, UL Hospitals Group.  “It is so important that midwives and doctors who are working together are training together.  The aim of our CTG masterclass is to promote understanding of fetal physiology to ensure the best possible outcomes”.

Dr Gerry Burke, consultant obstetrician / gynaecologist and clinical director, Maternal and Child Health Directorate, UL Hospitals Group, said: “University Maternity Hospital Limerick has made the eradication of neonatal brain injury its first priority. This condition is also a major priority for the HSE National Women and Infants Health Programme.” 

A key component of the UMHL strategy is the CTG masterclass that the hospital runs twice a year in collaboration with Prof Edwin Chandraharan and Dr Susana Pereira, he said. UL Hospitals Group was committed to making a national contribution to reducing neonatal brain injury in our maternity hospitals.

Speaking on the importance of the masterclasses, Dr Naro Imcha, consultant obstetrician / gynaecologist and chairperson, Quality Improvement Committee, UL Hospitals Group, said that the masterclass was an invaluable step in the direction with which they anticipated improved patient experience and delivery outcomes across Ireland.

The next masterclass will be held this August 10 and 11 at the CERC building on the main UHL campus.

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