A newborn baby can bring
great happiness to its family - but for some new mothers the joys
of childbirth, can be tempered by the experience of perineal
During childbirth up to 35 per cent of women may experience tears
to their perineum, the skin between the vagina and rectum. Such
damage can have long term consequences for women's health unless
properly assessed and treated.
Now a researcher from the UK's University of Birmingham has
co-developed a device to significantly improve the maternity
aftercare of many new mothers - an invention that could also help
lead the way in forensic investigations.
Alison Metcalfe, of the University's School of Health Sciences, and
five midwives from Birmingham have developed the Peri-Rule, a tool
which measures and assesses first and second-degree perineal tears,
which can often cause long-term problems for women, including
incontinence and general discomfort.
The Peri-Rule enables midwives to make a more detailed and
objective assessment of the severity of damage so they can make
informed decisions for further treatment that may be required,
which should lead to a reduction in the number of women that have
severe damage missed. Because the Peri-Rule can be sterilised and
used to measure and assess other types of wound and tissue damage,
it may help in measuring wounds in forensic science to reduce the
risk of contamination of important evidence.
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Page contact: L HandfordLast revised: Fri 23 Jun 2006