Journal article

Stillbirths: recall to action in high-income countries

Vicki Flenady, Aleena M Wojcieszek, Philippa Middleton, David Ellwood, Jan Jaap Erwich, Michael Coory, T Yee Khong, Robert M Silver, Gordon CS Smith, Frances M Boyle, Joy E Lawn, Hannah Blencowe, Susannah Hopkins Leisher, Mechthild M Gross, Dell Horey, Lynn Farrales, Frank Bloomfield, Lesley McCowan, Stephanie J Brown, KS Joseph Show all



Variation in stillbirth rates across high-income countries and large equity gaps within high-income countries persist. If all high-income countries achieved stillbirth rates equal to the best performing countries, 19,439 late gestation (28 weeks or more) stillbirths could have been avoided in 2015. The proportion of unexplained stillbirths is high and can be addressed through improvements in data collection, investigation, and classification, and with a better understanding of causal pathways. Substandard care contributes to 20-30% of all stillbirths and the contribution is even higher for late gestation intrapartum stillbirths. National perinatal mortality audit programmes need to be implem..

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Awarded by National Institute for Health Research

Funding Acknowledgements

HB received grants from Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children, during the conduct of the study. JFF was funded in part by a technical support grant from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and by the Centre for Intervention Science in Maternal and Child Health, which is funded by the Research Council of Norway through its Centers of Excellence scheme and the University of Bergen, Norway. We sincerely thank every parent, care provider, and community member who gave their time to complete the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) web-based surveys. We thank the ISA Network, the International Confederation of Midwives, the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, ISA member organisations, and further national organisations that supported the dissemination of surveys. We also thank Translators Without Borders for assisting with survey translations. Mater Research Institute, University of Queensland, Australia provided infrastructure and funding for the research team to enable this work to be undertaken. The Canadian Research Chair in Psychosocial Family Health provided funding for revision of the translation of the French web-based survey of care providers.