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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


OVALLE, Alfredo et al. A new fetal death classification system. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2016, vol.144, n.8, pp.1020-1028. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Stillbirth is the mayor contributor to perinatal mortality. Aim: To report a system for classification of fetal deaths. Material and Methods: Retrospective cohort study of 29,916 births with 258 fetal deaths that occurred in a public hospital. Data were obtained from audit reports of stillbirths. The method for classification “obstetric condition relevant to the death” was applied, based on obstetric and placental pathological findings analyzed exclusively by a single obstetrician and a single pathologist. Results: Ninety two percent of obstetric conditions causing fetal death were identified. The most commonly reported were ascending bacterial infection in 26%, congenital anomalies in 19%, arterial hypertension in 12% and placental pathology in 12%. Fetal growth restriction was identified in 50% of stillbirths. Ninety percent were secondary to a primary obstetric condition and 10% had an unexplained cause. Placental abruption as the final cause of fetal death was identified in 60% of cases with arterial hypertension, 43% of cases with placental pathology and 37% of ascending infections. Fetal deaths occurred during pregnancy in 82% of cases and during labor in 17%. Intrapartum asphyxia occurred in 0.8% of stillbirths and presented in term pregnancies. Conclusions: The “obstetric condition relevant to the death” method for classification of fetal death is effective to identify the originating obstetric cause of stillbirth and reduces the impact of fetal growth restriction and intrapartum asphyxia as the leading causes of death.

Keywords : Classification; Fetal Death; Stillbirth.

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