The professionalism of a health care employee in Portlaoise has led to the lid being lifted on rates of caesarean sections at maternity hospitals right around the country.
It has emerged that concerns over the rate of a certain procedure at the maternity unit at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise led the Association for Improvements in Maternity Services in Ireland (AIMS), to seek the big picture on the rate of maternity procedures in the country.
The results published this week show that the c-section rate in Ireland is well above internationally recommended levels in some hospitals such as St Luke’s Kilkenny, which is used by Laois women.
In Portlaoise the c-section rate is running at 28% of all births. The rate of forceps and other assisted deliveries has also risen “significantly”.
AIMS is to seek more information on the rate of Episiotomy performed. The figures supplied by Portlaoise are out of line with other hospitals.
It was the episiotomy rate that caused the health care worker to alert AIMS. The association then made a Freedom of Information request to the HSE.
“The reason we made the FOI request was that we had a tip-off from Portlaoise that the episiotomy rate was very high,” Jane Kelly of AIMS told the Leinster Express, who added that the Laois hospital is mid-table in terms of care.
She added that the hospital had not supplied info on episiotomy to the Irish Childbirth Trust, Cúidiu.
In a short statement, the HSE told the Leinster Express that it publishes and analyses data.
“The HSE nationally has made this information available and it forms part of ongoing analysis of national and international trends in relation to C-Section rates,” it said.