chapter  17
8 Pages

Evaluation and management of stillbirth

BySevan A. Vahanian, Wendy L. Kinzler, Anthony M. Vintzileos

Stillbirth is a devastating and dicult experience for parents as well as healthcare providers. A systematic, yet empathetic approach to the diagnosis, evaluation, and management, regardless of gestational age, is crucial. e World Health Organization (WHO) denes fetal death as “death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy; the death is indicated by the fact that aer such separation the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or denite movement of voluntary muscles.”1 Stillbirths are classied as early if they occur at less than 20 weeks’ gestation, intermediate if they occur at 20-27 weeks’ gestation, and late if they occur at 28 weeks’ gestation or greater. In the United States, stillbirth aects 1 in 160 pregnancies, resulting in 26,000 stillbirths annually.2