Delhi recorded over 21,000 stillbirths since 2013

Reveals RTI reply; doctor says negligence main reason in most cases of stillbirth

March 26, 2019 01:51 am | Updated 09:36 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Capital has recorded 21,281 stillbirth cases between 2013-2018 (till December), with the deaths remaining a steady 3,000-plus in 2013, 2014, 2015 and then going up to 5,000-plus in 2017-18.

This as per information released by the State Health Department in reply to an RTI application filed by RTI activist Rajhans Bansal. However, no separate figures were available for government and private sectors. The figures came down only in 2016, with stillbirths standing at 2,977.

Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynaecologist, obstetrician and IVF expert at Nurture IVF Centre, speaking about stillbirth and the most common reasons behind it, explained that “stillbirth or intrauterine death is quite common and the main reason identified in most cases is negligence”.

“There are numerous causes of stillbirth, the most common ones being placental problems or hypertension, birth defects, growth restrictions, infections during the pregnancy. There are few infrequent reasons of stillbirth, which include umbilical accidents, gestational diabetes, trauma, postdate pregnancy and so on,” she said.

The gynaecologist added that in India, women often are not able to take proper care during pregnancy, which is also very damaging.

“In addition, smoking, consumption of alcohol and prescription painkillers, or using any illegal drugs during or a year before pregnancy can increase the risk of stillborn. The emotional and physical health of the mother plays an important role. Hence, if a pregnant woman is not properly fed or is going through an emotional or other stress, it could lead to an increased risk of stillbirth,’’ she said.

Despite extensive testing and medical advancement, causes of about one-third of stillbirth remain unidentified, noted experts.

Meanwhile, maternal diabetes, high blood pressure, maternal infections, certain autoimmune disorders, throbophilias, which are blood coagulation disorders, are also stated to be few causes of still birth.

Tripti Sharan, senior consultant, Gynaecology and Obstetrics at BLK Super Speciality Hospital said: “Prime causes of stillbirth can be fetal structural and chromosomal defect, fetal infections, Rh incompatibility, fetal growth retardation, inadequate placentation causing poor blood channels between mother and baby, placental separation and placental haemorrhage.”

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