Study calls for further research to improve post mortem techniques for stillbirths

Research led by Diagnostics and Imaging Theme lead, Professor Neil Sebire aimed to investigate which aspects of post-mortem examinations in stillbirths are most effective at providing a cause of death.

After extensive analysis of findings from a large number of post-mortem examinations, results showed that clinical review and placental examination both identified a cause of death in around 20% of cases. Invasive post-mortem examinations only provided a cause of death in a small percentage of cases.

This suggests that non-invasive techniques have the potential to be just as effective at providing a cause of death in stillbirths as invasive techniques. However, it also highlights the need to develop more refined techniques.

Furthermore, results also suggested that the risk of stillbirth associated with low foetal body weight may have been overestimated. These findings could impact on current health policy, which focuses on the detection and elective birth of small foetuses to reduce the risk of stillbirth.

Findings from this research have been published in a series of articles in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, click here to read the full press release on the Wiley website.