18 Nov 2010

DHB award for creator of placenta tracking system

6:57 am on 18 November 2010

A scheme to keep track of placentas in hospitals has won its creator a Canterbury District Health Board systems improvement award.

Christchurch midwife Diana Leishman says she developed the system in response to the cultural expectations of Maori women.

She told Waatea News that the Maori practice of returning the placenta (whenua) back to the earth, is catching on.

"Probably about 30% of mothers in Christchurch take their placentas home with them to return them to the land," she said.

Ms Leishman said the system had cut the number of placenta being lost by 90%, reduced the need for placenta to be re-examined and saved $100,000 per year in laboratory costs.