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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 188-194

Audit of stillbirths in a Nigerian teaching hospital

1 Department of Obstetrics Gynaecology and Perinatology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics Gynaecology and Perinatology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, State Specialist Hospital, Ikere-Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O Kuti
Department of Obstetrics Gynaecology and Perinatology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/TJOG.TJOG_65_17

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Objective: The purpose of this study is to classify the stillbirths (SBs) in our institution and to determine the avoidable contributors using a pro forma that was developed in our perinatal unit. Materials and Method: All mothers who delivered SBs at Obafemi Awolowo University Hospitals Complex Ile-Ife, Nigeria, from April 2014 to August 2015 were the subjects of this study. At our weekly perinatal mortality meeting, every SB was reviewed in detail to determine the cause of death and identify gaps in the care. The causes of fetal death were classified using three classification systems – Simplified CODAC, ReCoDe, and our newly developed Ife Perinatal Death Classification System. Remote contributors to fetal demise were assigned using a purpose–designed “Avoidable Factor Proforma” A SB was deemed avoidable if one or more factors were identified. Results: The total number of deliveries during the study was 2,142 with 109 SBs giving a gross SB rate of 51/1000 total births. The SB rate was significantly lower among booked patients than their unbooked counterparts (15 vs. 140 per 1000; P < 0.005). Antepartum death constituted 82.6% of SB among booked patients compared to 41.2% in the unbooked. The most common cause of SB among booked mother was intrauterine growth restriction (21.7%) while obstructed labor (23.3%) was the leading cause among unbooked mothers. Using our classification system, only 3.8% of SBs were unexplained, as against 5.7% for ReCode, and 26.4% for Simplified CODAC. Majority (81.7%) of the SBs were avoidable; and the most common avoidable factor was deficiency in health care. Access to the point of care was not associated with any of the avoidable deaths. Conclusion: Our SB rate remains unacceptably high, with a preponderance of antepartum deaths among booked patients. Majority of the SBs are avoidable dictating the need for training in modern methods of fetal surveillance and improved efficiency of our health-delivery systems.

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