Babies more at risk if born at end of shift

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

Babies born at night and at the start of the working day when hospital staff change shifts are less likely to survive than babies born later in the day, a survey of more than two million births has found.

Babies born at night and at the start of the working day when hospital staff change shifts are less likely to survive than babies born later in the day, a survey of more than two million births has found.

The relative inexperience of night workers or their increased tiredness towards the end of a shift could explain the pattern, researchers said. Academics in Hong Kong studied data from the Swedish birth register between 1973 and 1995, covering almost all births in the country during those years. They also compared the data with other countries and assessed changes over decades.

The researchers, whose work is published in theBritish Medical Journal today, found there had been no improvement over the years in the prospects of babies born at night. Indeed, from 1990 to 1995 there was a 30 per cent increase in deaths of babies born at the end of the day or night shift. Asphyxia, a lack of oxygen, was a main cause of death.

Comments