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Reducing the risk of cerebral palsy in preterm babies

Posted: - 29th October 2019

We estimate that four cases of cerebral palsy have been prevented as a result of 178 preterm mothers receiving a dose of Magnesium Sulphate during childbirth. This translates into an estimated £3.2m of costs avoided by the healthcare system.

In Yorkshire and the Humber, we are working closely with all three regional Local Maternity Systems to hold launch events to engage local maternity teams with the programme.

Babies born too soon (preterm) are at an increased risk of dying in the first weeks of life and those who survive may suffer from varying degrees of cerebral palsy that can cause blindness, deafness or other physical disabilities.

Antenatal magnesium sulphate (MgS04) is given prior at preterm birth for foetal neuroprotection prevents cerebral palsy and costs approximately £1 per individual dose.

Designed in partnership with families and staff, Preventing Cerebral Palsy in PreTerm Labour (PReCePT) is a national AHSN quality improvement project, aimed at increasing antenatal administration of magnesium sulphate to mothers during preterm labour.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 babies are born before 30 weeks’ gestation in England per year and stand to benefit from full national roll out of the PReCePT programme. Successful scaling up of PReCePT is likely to prevent several hundred cases of cerebral palsy per year, based on highest grade evidence.

We commission the Improvement Academy to work with us to deliver the Patient Safety Improvement Programme.

For more information please contact us