Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

Contributions to BAPM's response to Signs of Life Consultation welcome

The MBRRACE-UK Signs of Life working group has launched a consultation relating to the development of UK guidance to support health professionals in the assessment of signs of life for spontaneous births before 24(+0) weeks of gestational age where active survival-focused care is not appropriate.

BAPM will be responding to the consultation and asks that BAPM members share their responses with the BAPM office by 21 February as well as submitting an individual response. BAPM will then use members' comments to submit a formal response on behalf of the association.

This guidance aims to reduce the confusion and distress experienced by parents by helping doctors and midwives with the assessment of newborn babies who are born before 24 weeks of pregnancy. The guidance also aims to increase the consistency of the registration of births and deaths. This is a distressing and sensitive topic and may be upsetting, particularly for those affected by the loss of a baby.

The draft guidance was developed by consensus by a multidisciplinary UK working group comprising representatives from all of the relevant UK clinical organisations, Government health departments, Northern Ireland Public Health Agency, academic experts in extremely preterm birth, medical law and medical ethics and third sector stakeholders. The group is led by MBRRACE-UK which is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership to undertake the Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme (MNI-CORP). The aims of MNI-CORP are to collect, analyse and report national surveillance data and conduct national confidential enquiries in order to stimulate and evaluate improvements in health care for mothers and babies.

The draft guidance is intended for health professionals but may also be of interest to other stakeholders. It will complement guidance on decision-making around obstetric interventions and initiation of neonatal intensive care at extreme preterm gestations by BAPM.

The deadline to send responses to BAPM is 21 February and the consultation deadline is 9 March.

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British Association of Perinatal Medicine