NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Imaging of all embryos with ultrasound (echocardiogram) to investigate the child’s position may help keep the lives of hundreds of children around the world annually, a recent study found.
Breech birth is the position where the child’s back is down and head up, while the natural position of birth is on the contrary. Skeletal conditions may cause complications in childbirth, may require a caesarean section, and may lead to child death, so it is best to discover this before birth, and to correct or prepare for the child’s situation.
More than 4,000 British pregnant women participated in the study, and their 36-week ultrasound (they were about to give birth) was filmed. The researchers found that the sit-down position was present in about 4.6% of participants in the study, and that only half of them were previously aware of it.
The results of this study mean that about half of all childbirths are discovered only at birth, without the medical team being able to detect this during pregnancy, which puts the child and his mother at risk.
According to the researchers, imaging all pregnancies in the last week of pregnancy can save 7 or 8 children a year in the UK alone and hundreds of children around the world, an inexpensive procedure that is easily available in most medical centers.
The results of the study were recently published in PLOS Medicine .
Source: British National Health Service (NHS)