Mother’s fury over ‘no revival’ policy after seeing 22-week-old son die despite his 46min battle to live
Southend Hospital in Essex has a policy of only treating babies born after 24 weeks. Southend is directed by the National Health Service which is the publicly-funded healthcare system in England.
Imagine the horror that Tracy Godwin experienced when she went into labor at 22 weeks and her baby Tom was born alive and the hospital refused to treat her premature baby. The heartbroken mother said she begged doctors to help her struggling baby but they refused because they do not intervene when a baby is less than 24 weeks old.
Tracy gave birth to son Tom on March 6 last year, just 12 days short of the threshold for treatment. “We couldn’t understand why no one was helping him,” said Tracy, from Southend, Essex. “If he had been stillborn it would have been different but he tried to live. We were begging them to do something for him.” An inquest will now be held into her baby’s death.
“They gave me a room called the Butterfly Room, which had a double bed so my partner could stay. They never told me it was for women who were going to lose their babies.” She added that doctors never told her they would not help her son when he was born and she never doubted he would be offered every assistance.
According to Dr. Daphne Austin, who advises local health trusts how to spend their budgets, doctors were “doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers” and that treatments have “very marginal benefit”. She added only 1 in 100 grows up without some form of disability. The most common include blindness, deafness and cerebral palsy.
While Southend Hospital chooses not to treat babies born before 24 weeks it is up to individual NHS trusts to decide their own policy on this contentious issue. Recently a leading NHS official said babies born after just 23 weeks or earlier should be left to die.
Yes, despite the fact that NHS that claims it’s core principles are to meet the needs of everyone and provide a comprehensive range of services, apparently that only applies if you are 24 weeks or older.
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