Study Examines Reduction In Birth-Related Rate Of Death Of Infants Born At Term

For further information, contact Melissa Maimann at Essential Birth Consulting. Link

During about the last 20 years, the risk of delivery-related death at birth or shortly thereafter for term infants has decreased nearly 40 percent in Scotland, with the largest contributing factor being a decrease in the number of deaths caused by a lack of oxygen for the baby during the childbirth process ...

Rates of obstetric intervention in labor, including cesarean delivery, have increased significantly in most developed countries. "It is, however, unclear if this has been paralleled by decreased rates of perinatal [pertaining to the period immediately before and after birth] and neonatal death associated with complications of labor at term," ...

... The study included ... all single infant births in a cephalic presentation at term (n = 1,012,266), excluding those with perinatal death due to congenital anomaly or antepartum (before birth) stillbirth.

There were 719 delivery-related perinatal deaths (0.07 percent) during the study period, which included 219 intrapartum stillbirths [and] 500 neonatal deaths ... Of these perinatal deaths, 432 (60.1 percent) were attributed to intrapartum anoxia ... and 287 (39.9 percent) were attributed to other causes.

The absolute risk of delivery-related perinatal death in the population was 7.1 per 10,000 births. When modeled between 1988 and 2007, there was a decrease in the risk of delivery-related perinatal death from 8.8 to 5.5 per 10,000 births ... When analyzed by the cause of death, there was a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of death attributed to intrapartum anoxia from 5.7 to 3.0 per 10,000 births ...

... "The pattern of the decline suggests that this was primarily due to a reduced number of severely anoxic infants rather than improved neonatal resuscitation. The change was paralleled by increased rates of cesarean delivery, but there is no direct evidence supporting a causal association between the 2 trends."

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448