Is Stillbirth Still a Challenge?

  • Shabnum Sibtain Department of Obs. and Gynaecology, University Hospital Cross House
  • Prabha Sinha Consultant Obs. & Gyn. East Sussex Healthcare Trust, Sussex
Keywords: stillbirth, Post mortem examination, risk factors, confidential enquiry, suboptimal care


Objectives: To evaluate the risk factors in women with pregnancies affected by stillbirth and the management in subsequent pregnancies. Design: Retrospective study. Setting: District General Hospital. Population:  65 women were identified having had a stillbirth. Methodology: This is a retrospective study over 4 years in East Sussex Healthcare Trust. The inclusion criteria were stillbirths after 24 weeks of gestation. The exclusion criteria were twin pregnancy with single fetus demise under 24 weeks. The demographic details, predisposing risk factors, body mass index, and details of the baby were collected and analysed. Main outcome measures. Maternal and fetal risk factors. Results: Sixty five women were identified for the study (0.4% of all deliveries) out of which 62 case notes (95.4%) were retrieved. The ethnic distribution were (87%) Caucasian, (8%) Black Africans, (2%) Asians and 3% were unknown. Primigravida (38%) had a higher rate of stillbirth. In 58% the booking BMI was <30, 11% were obese and in 31% not recorded. In 61% there was an identifiable risk factor.  Almost one third of the women (30%) smoked. In only 76% of the cases post-mortem examination was performed out of which 25.8% had no pathology. Conclusions: Loss of a baby can be extremely distressing to the couple as well as to the health care provider involved in her care. Close antenatal surveillance with adequate emotional support is the cornerstone in management of these women as recent CEMACH report identified suboptimal intrapartum care in 40-75% of cases.

How to Cite
Sibtain, S., & Sinha, P. (2016). Is Stillbirth Still a Challenge?. Annals of Punjab Medical College, 10(1), 46-51.