Perinatal death audit and classification of stillbirths in two provinces in Papua New Guinea: A retrospective analysis.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 2021, 153, (1), pp. 160-168
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Objective To undertake a retrospective perinatal death audit and assessment of avoidable factors associated with stillbirths among a cohort of women in two provinces in Papua New Guinea. Methods We used data from an ongoing cluster-randomized crossover trial in 10 sites among 4600 women in Papua New Guinea (from 2017 to date). The overarching aim is to improve birth outcomes. All stillbirths from July 2017 to January 2020 were identified. The Perinatal Problem Identification Program was used to analyze each stillbirth and review associated avoidable factors. Results There were 59 stillbirths among 2558 births (23 per 1000 births); 68% (40/59) were classified “fresh” and 32% as “macerated”. Perinatal cause of death was identified for 63% (37/59): 30% (11/37) were due to intrapartum asphyxia and traumatic breech birth and 19% (7/37) were the result of pre-eclampsia. At least one avoidable factor was identified for 95% (56/59) of stillbirths. Patient-associated factors included lack of response to reduced fetal movements and delay in seeking care during labor. Health personnel-associated factors included poor intrapartum care, late diagnosis of breech presentation, and prolonged second stage with no intervention. Conclusion Factors associated with stillbirths in this setting could be avoided through a package of interventions at both the community and health-facility levels.
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