Introduction There is a paucity of good quality data comparing the risk of rare but serious hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) event in neonates by birth setting. Also a recent study published in BMJ in Nov 2011 added that for healthy nulliparous women with a low risk pregnancy, the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes seems to be higher for planned births at non-obstetric units compared to birth in obstetric units.
Objective To compare the perinatal outcome in form of HIE requiring cooling in relation to planned place of birth, parity and the intrapartum findings.
Setting East Lancashire region comprising one Level 3 neonatal unit, One obstetric unit and 3 midwifery lead birth centres.
Method Retrospective analysis of the data collected over a period of 26 months (Oct'10 to Nov'11).
Results Of the 1939 births at birthing centres, there were 677(35%) water pool births. Both babies needing cooling from birth centres were pool births (3/1000 live births needing cooling).
Conclusions There are no differences in the proportion of babies requiring cooling intervention for HIE, between planned births in a midwifery unit compared with planned births in an obstetric unit. Whether there is an association between pool births babies requiring cooling needs to be addressed in a larger sample.
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