Objectives: The primary objective was the identification of sub-standard care in antepartum stillbirths in Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy), hence the number of potentially preventable cases. Secondly, we seek to evaluate any association between inadequate care and either risk factors for stillbirth or causes of death. Study Design: This study was based on prospectively-collected data in an institutional stillbirth audit project, involving all 29 hospital with a maternity unit in Emilia-Romagna Region. For each stillbirth occurred in the area from 2014 to the first semester of 2019 the same diagnostic workup was performed and a clinical record with data about mother and stillborn was completed. Every case was discussed in a multidisciplinary local audit to assess both the cause of death and the quality of care. Two aspects of care quality were evaluated: clinical management and women's access to care. Data were then reviewed by the Regional Audit Group. Results: Elements of inadequate care were identified in 56 out of 524 (10.7 %) fetal deaths. Non-Italian women and pregnancies with fetal growth restriction had double the risk of having received inadequate care during pregnancy, compared to Italian women (aOR 2.0, 95 % CI 1.1–3.6) and a normally developing fetus (aOR 2.0, 95 % CI 1.1–4.1), respectively. Women whose stillbirth was caused by maternal disorders were at higher risk for inadequate care compared to women who had stillbirth explained by other cause (aOR 5.89, 95 %CI 2.2–15.4). Sub-optimal clinical management and barriers to access to care were observed to equal extents. Inappropriate ultrasound monitoring was the most frequent suboptimal care element. Conclusions: About one out of ten stillbirths was potentially preventable. Interventions to reduce stillbirth occurrence in our high-resource setting should focus on appropriate diagnosis and management of maternal disorders and fetal growth restriction, as well as improving access to antenatal care.
Potentially preventable antepartum stillbirths in a high-resource setting: a prospective audit-based study / Po', G.; Salerno, C.; Monari, F.; Grandi, G.; Facchinetti, F.. - In: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS, GYNECOLOGY, AND REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0301-2115. - 258:(2021), pp. 228-234. [10.1016/j.ejogrb.2021.01.006]