Help save tiny lives

Let's end preventable stillbirths

A true story

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Keep babies on earth

Every day, babies are stillborn in the UK that would have lived elsewhere

The UK doesn’t even make the top 100 countries for progress in reducing stillbirth.

The Lancet’s updated Stillbirth rates for 2015 (>28 weeks) place the UK as 24th internationally.

1) Iceland
1.3
5) Netherlands
1.8
6) Croatia
2.0
11) Poland
2.3
16) Estonia
2.7
24) UK
2.9
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    Too many babies dying

    In absolute terms, more babies were stillborn in England and Wales last year than in 2000. The stillbirth rate is worse than Estonia, Croatia and Poland.

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    Negligable progress

    Over the last 15 years, the UK is lagging even further behind international peers, reducing rates by a negligible 1.4% per year. Other countries prove what is possible – the Netherlands stillbirth rate is 40% lower, yet reducing 4x faster!

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    UK is ranked 114th in the world...

    by the Lancet, for progress in the last 15 years. The lack of coherent action on stillbirth, with thousands of babies dying unnecessarily ever year, is a national disgrace.

In 2014:
0
UK babies were stillborn
That's almost
0
every single day
And over
0x
more common than cot death

These aren’t just statistics. Behind every single death is a tragic story.


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Healthy babies are dying

The vast majority of stillborn babies have no congenital abnormalities


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Many are born too late

A significant proportion are beyond full term, when they could have been delivered safely at negligable risk.


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Poor care costs lives

At least half are due to health system addressable causes. A recent enquiry suggested as much as 60% of term UK stillbirths were preventable.

It doesn’t need to be like this.

Today, 10 babies will be stillborn in the UK


Each death a devestating tragedy for the family

At least half of these could have been saved

Mountain View

Make a difference

How to stop babies dying:


The taboo around stillbirth needs to to broken, along with the sense of fatalism. Action and leadership is desperately needed:


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    Modern antenatal care

    It’s the 21st century – yet after 20 weeks, ‘low risk’ babies only have their growth measured with a tape measure! Modern techniques described below are already saving lives.Read more

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    Adherence to standards

    Many deaths occur because guidelines on growth and monitoring are not followed. Hospitals have been slow to adopt guidelines to reduce stillbirth.Read more

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    Robust investigations

    When a baby dies, it is vital that lessons are learned to save lives. But most stillbirths are not even treated as serious incidents by the NHS. Read more

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    Information to parents

    Stillbirth is still a taboo subject and is rarely mentioned to parents. Giving accurate information about warning signs, such as changes in fetal movements, saves lives.
    Read more

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    Legal reform

    Stillborn babies have no human rights – an anomly in the law prevents coroners from investigating deaths, regardless of the circumstances.
    Read more

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    Research

    Most stillbirths could be prevented with high quality care, but there is still much we do not know. Vital research is needed to fill the gaps and save lives.Read more


Modern techniques save lives if used


Customised growth charts

Each baby is unique – these charts are customised for each mother so that growth can be more accurately monitored. They cost almost nothing – and where used, they have cut the stillbirth rate by over 20%.
Read more

Ultrasound and doppler

Ultrasound scans are 3x as effective at detecting the babies most at risk. And use of doppler techniques to measure blood flow (which require no extra equipment) have reduced stillbirths by up to 50%.
Read more

Closer monitoring

CTG (continuous monitoring) can be used to identify babies in distress, but is frequently misinterpreted (and a leading source of failures). Computers can aid with interpretation, reducing the risk of human error. Read more

“There is a common misperception that many of the deaths are inevitable, but our research shows most stillbirths are preventable.

“These babies should not be born in silence, their parents should not be grieving in silence, and the international community must break the silence as they have done for maternal and child deaths.

“The message is loud and clear – shockingly slow progress on stillbirths is unacceptable.”Professor Joy Lawn, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, speaking to Sky News