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UK doctors take on RideLondon to save babies’ lives

News 25 July 2016

Doctors from across the UK will team up this weekend to hit the roads of London to save the lives of hundreds of babies. For the third year running, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) will field a team for the almighty Prudential RideLondon (31 July); with 21 members, staff and their family and friends taking part in the 100- and 46-mile events.

The group will be raising funds for Each Baby Counts; the RCOG’s national quality improvement programme to halve the number of term babies who die or are left severely disabled because something went wrong during labour. This ground-breaking project is the brainchild of RCOG President, Dr David Richmond, who is also taking part in Ride London 2016. He said:

“The RCOG has a key role to play in reducing stillbirths that occur during term labour, early neonatal deaths and severe brain injuries. The first annual report from the Each Baby Counts initiative reveals more than 920 babies died or suffered severe brain injury during birth. The RCOG does not accept that these are all unavoidable tragedies. This programme provides us with a huge opportunity to make a genuine difference in this area.”

Runcorn mother, Nicky Lyon, lost her son when he was just 18 months old, and said no parent should have to experience what she went through.  

“What should have been one of the happiest days of my life turned into tragedy when Harry was left brain damaged following errors in care during his full-term labour. As a result, Harry was left severely disabled, suffered seizures and was fed via a tube. Sadly, he died aged 18 months as a result of his brain damage. As a family we were left devastated. What is particularly upsetting, is that Harry’s death, like many others, probably could have been avoided.

“I’m so pleased that the RCOG has decided to take action on this. This project has the potential to save hundreds of babies’ lives and families will not have to experience the terrible pain and heartache that we have suffered.”

The RCOG team hopes to raise vital funds for the programme through RideLondon; setting an ambitious £10,000 target. It will be the first time the College has taken part in a fundraising challenge for Each Baby Counts.

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