News archive 2010
Major medical review following King’s study29 Jan 2010, PR 22/10
Three of five studies analysed in a recently published Cochrane Library Review into eating and drinking in labour were conducted by King’s College London researchers and involved women giving birth at St Thomas’ Hospital.
Since the 1940s, it has been common practice to prevent eating during labour to cut the risk of complications if surgery is required. However, the Cochrane review found no evidence that eating in the hours up to the birth causes harm to the mothers or their baby. It recommended that women should be allowed to eat and drink as they wish during labour, if they are at low risk of complications.
Professor Andrew Shennan, one of the investigators and Professor of Obstetrics at King’s, said: ‘Whether or not it is safe to eat during labour is an important question for obstetricians and midwives, as we want to ensure that every woman gives birth safely. Our extensive research has shown, and is confirmed by the Cochrane review, that the common practice of preventing eating during labour has no apparent risk or benefit, and may be left to women’s choice in low risk women.’
The Cochrane Review is a database of systematic reviews which summarise and interpret the results of high-quality medical research. The reviews are held in the Cochrane Library which is a collection of databases in medicine and other healthcare specialties provided by the Cochrane Collaboration and other organisations.
The Cochrane Review into eating and drinking in labour identified five randomly controlled trials and quasi-randomly controlled trials of restricting fluids and food for women in labour compared to women free to eat and drink. The studies involved 3,130 women, including 2,426 women taking part in a King’s study published in the British Medical Journal last year. The two other King’s studies involving a total of 154 women, were published in 1999 and 2002.
Professor Lucilla Poston, Head of the Maternal and Fetal Research Unit at King’s College London, based at St Thomas’ Hospital said: ‘Our ability to involve patients in clinical research ensures that we are at the forefront of academic medicine. This research not only has an immediate impact on the care we can provide to local women, but also on the management of pregnancy and childbirth across the UK and further afield.’
Hundreds of women take part in research in the Maternal and Fetal Research Unit each year. Other recent research studies include the most appropriate way to stitch the cervix of women deemed to be at high risk of giving birth early and the evaluation of a simple test which measures the presence of a protein called fetal fibronectin in the cervix to predict premature labour.
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2009) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has more than 21,000 students from nearly 140 countries, and more than 5,700 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.
Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Guy's and St Thomas' provides around 850,000 patient contacts in acute and specialist hospital services every year. As one of the biggest NHS Trusts in the UK, it employs around 10,000 staff. The Trust works in partnership with the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Biomedical Sciences of King's College London and other Higher Education Institutes to deliver high quality education and research. Website: www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk. Contact: Andrea Ttofa, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust tel: 020 7188 5577 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of hours, please call our pager bureau on 0844 822 2888, ask for pager number 847704 and give the pager operator your message.
Kate Moore, Public Relations Officer (Health)
Public Relations Department
Tel: 020 7848 4334
King’s business plan competition launched
Honorary Fellow wins Nobel Literature Prize
King's contributes to WHO Intervention Guidelines
Nightingale app previewed
Free radicals shown to protect the heart
King’s joins pan-European training partner
European project to reduce HIV transmission
Nanotechnology research advances
Europe Week debates
German graduates win University of London prizes
This information is provided by the Public Relations Department
Tel: 020-7848 3202 Fax: 020-7848 3739 Email: email@example.com