9 Feb 2016 | Perinatal & Maternal Mortality Review Committee
The Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Perinatal and Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PMMRC) is welcoming a new series, published by UK medical journal Lancet, focusing on preventable stillbirths.
The full series includes five papers, an executive summary and comments. Among other highlights, the Lancet series includes mention of PMMRC’s work.
More than 2.6 million stillbirths occur globally every year. Despite significant reductions in the number of maternal and child deaths, there has been little change in the number of stillbirths even though many may be preventable with improved quality of care.
In New Zealand, stillbirth rates at a gestation of 37–41 weeks or more have reduced over the seven years since the PMMRC’s national perinatal audit began. National perinatal mortality audit programmes need to be implemented and supported worldwide to identify causes of stillbirth and areas for improvement in care.
Also highlighted in the Lancet series is the need to address stigma related to stillbirth, the belief stillbirths are not preventable and to improve bereavement care.