Praying Mantra

Mon 11th Jun 2007 by Ben Palmer.

I had two emails of real support last week. One was from a Delivery Suite sister who is teaching on a midwifery study day this week and the other from a student midwife in her final year.

Both expressed total disbelief and horror at the lack of care and insight that led to Jessica's death and both said that knowing of Jessica's story and my views on the government's response would help them make midwifery a safer place for mothers.

I was also thanked, in no uncertain terms and not for the first time, for telling Jessica's story so publicly, which is particularly reassuring. As I'm not a naturally outgoing person and am usually rather more privacy seeking, telling her story over and over again makes me feel a bit over exposed.

However, my mantra is still, "If, by retelling her story, I prompt one exhausted midwife or hard-pressed health visitor to look down at a sick new mum and think 'hang on, I wonder if this is septicaemia', then it will be worth it."

I'm still mulling over the suggestion that I 'guest lecture' to student midwives - maybe I would if directly asked to.

tags: valley

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What is childbed fever?

Childbed fever is an infection of the womb in new mothers which can lead to septicaemia. If left untreated infection will cause organ failure and death - even in young, fit mothers.
What are the symptoms? »
Childbed fever: the facts »

What's the aim?

We would like every parent and every midwife and doctor to know that childbed fever is still a very real threat to a mother's life.
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Can I help? »

Who is Jessica?

Jessica Palmer was a Mum. She died in June 2004, at 34 years old, of childbed fever caused by Group A streptococcus.
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