Milton Keynes University Hospital is taking part in a study to reduce the impact of injury to women during childbirth.
Today (27 September) is the launch day for MKUH’s participation in a research project into obstetric anal sphincter injury which can occur during vaginal birth (also known as severe perineal tearing), the long-term consequences of which can result in significant physical and emotional impact on women.
The OASI2 project, which is funded by the Health Foundation, involves 30 maternity units across the UK, including MKUH, studying clinical outcomes and listening to the perspectives of patients and healthcare professionals on care and the way in which a ‘care bundle’ (a standardised package of clinical management measures) was adopted in their maternity unit.
Erum Khan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at MKUH, said: “While these types of tears tend to heal quickly with no long-lasting effects, a small number of women experience a deeper and more severe perineal tear which can have significant physical and psychological effects including chronic pain, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“More research is crucial to help us understand women’s experiences of perineal care so we can better tailor services to care for and support women. The voices of women and our learnings will help us to achieve a much better understanding of how women perceive and experience perineal care, so that we can continue to make improvements in this vital aspect of maternity services.”
The research study is a collaboration between Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Royal College of Midwives (RCM), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Croydon Health Services NHS Trust.
For more information on OASI2, click here.