• The Irish Maternity Early Warning System (IMEWS).

      Maguire, P J; O'Higgins, A; Power, K; Turner, M J (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-11)
      In the acute hospital setting, the use of early warning scores (EWS) to monitor vital signs (including heart rate, respiratory rate [RR], blood pressure and temperature) has been shown to be beneficial in the early diagnosis and prompt initiation of treatment in adults with a critical illness 1 . This led to the development of the National Early Warning Score (NEWS) in Ireland by the Health Services Executiveâ s (HSE) Acute Medicine Clinical Care Programme. The NEWS was the first guideline endorsed by the National Clinical Effectiveness Committee (NCEC) and was launched by the Minister of Health Dr James Reilly in 2013. The implementation of NEWS is now mandatory in all acute hospitals. However, NEWS is not suitable for use in pregnancy because a womanâ s vital signs change physiologically from early in pregnancy. National reports in Ireland and the United Kingdom (UK) on maternal mortality have led to recommendations that a modified obstetric EWS be introduced 2,3 . In Ireland, these recommendations have been further supported by separate investigations in 2008 and 2013 on two maternal deaths from sepsis 4,5 .
    • The use of digital media by women using the maternity services in a developed country.

      O'Higgins, A; Murphy, O C; Egan, A; Mullaney, L; Sheehan, S; Turner, M J (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-11)
      The provision of high quality healthcare information about pregnancy is important to women and to healthcare professionals and it is 1 driven, in part, by a desire to improve clinical outcomes,. The objective of this study was to examine the use of digital media by women' to access pregnancy information. A questionnaire was distributed to women attending a large maternity hospital. Of the 522 respondents, the mean age was 31.8 years, 45% (235/522) were nulliparous, 62% (324/522) lived in the capital city and 29% (150/522) attended the hospital as private patients. Overall 95% (498/522) used the internet for pregnancy information, 76% (399/522) had a smartphone and 59% (235/399) of smartphone owners had used a pregnancy smartapp. The nature of internet usage for pregnancy information included discussion forums (70%), social networks (67%), video media (48%), e-books (15%), blogs (13%), microblogs (9%) and podcasts (4%). Even women who were socially disadvantaged reported high levels of digital media usage. In contemporary maternity care women use digital media extensively for pregnancy information. All maternity services should have a digital media strategy.