Evaluation of causes of still birth in a tertiary care teaching hospital

Shivani Kothiyal, Anjoo Agarwal, Vinita Das, Amita Pandey, Smriti Agarwal


Background: Whenever pregnancy occurs there is an expectation that every pregnancy will end with the birth of a healthy baby, yet in a developing country like India 22 in every 1000 births are stillborn. The objective of this study was to evaluate the rate and causes of still birth in a tertiary care teaching hospital, Queen Mary, King George Medical college and university, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Methods: Present study was an observational study in a tertiary care hospital. 7024 births occurred in the institution over a period of 1 year out of which 550 were stillbirths. Stillbirths which weighed over 500 grams were included in the study. After informed consent, details of history about epidemiological factors, obstetric history and medical history were obtained. Antenatal investigations including imaging, delivery details and stillborn morphological characteristics were analyzed to identify the cause of stillbirth

Results: Out of 7024 deliveries, stillbirth rate was 78.30/1000 total births. Cause of intrapartum stillbirth showed statistically significant correlation with patient’s place of residence (rural>urban), distance of health centre from her house, time taken to reach first point of contact and her parity. The major obstetrical causes of stillbirth identified were APH 22.36%, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy 19.27%, IUGR 15.27%, unexplained causes 11.09%, mal-presentations 9.64%, rupture uterus 9.09% and obstructed labour 6.36%. Severe anemia was found in 24.91% as an associated obstetrical cause of stillbirth.

Conclusions: The rate of stillbirth is higher as compared to the Indian data (22/1000 total births). Antepartum obstetric complications (APH, hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, IUGR) were the most common. 15.45% cases showed intrapartum causes of stillbirth (obstructed labour and rupture uterus) which was significantly higher than developed countries where such cases are negligible. The higher number of intrapartum deaths indicate that better healthcare services can drastically reduce stillbirth rates in developing countries.


Rate of stillbirth, Stillbirth, Stillbirth causes

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