1,000 stillbirths could be avoided, says medical expert

A quarter of the 4,000 stillbirth births that occur every year in the UK could be prevented if the right action was taken during pregnancy, says the director of the Perinatal Institute, Birmingham.

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A 10-year study into stillbirths by Professor Jason Gardosi, director of the Perinatal Institute in Birmingham, found that 40% of all stillborns didn’t grow well in the womb, and that around two-thirds of these could have been prevented if action were taken during pregnancy.

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Professor Gardosi says not enough medical staff and poor training in spotting signs of foetal growth restriction are to blame for the UK’s stillbirth numbers. The UK has one of the highest rates of stillbirth in western Europe – double that of Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Professor Gardosi says that if problems are recognised in pregnancy, then further investigations can be made, and a baby can be delivered at the right time to avoid being stillborn.

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