Stillbirths and neonatal mortality as outcomes

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Dec;123(3):252-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.06.020. Epub 2013 Sep 4.


Several recent studies in low-resource countries have claimed that training in-and increased use of-newborn resuscitation resulted in reduced stillbirth rates. In the present article, we explore the ability of various types of birth attendant in some low-resource country locations to gather data that accurately differentiate a stillbirth from a live birth/early neonatal death. We conclude that, in many situations, it cannot be determined whether the infant was a stillbirth or a live birth/early neonatal death, and therefore the least-biased description of study outcomes includes a combined stillbirth and live birth/neonatal death outcome. However, because defining the burden of stillbirth and neonatal death is important from a public health perspective, every effort should be made, in low-income countries and elsewhere, to distinguish between stillbirths and live births/neonatal deaths and to report the results independently.

Keywords: Perinatal mortality; Resuscitation; Stillbirth.

MeSH terms

  • Death
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Live Birth
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Pregnancy
  • Resuscitation / methods
  • Stillbirth / epidemiology*