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August 16, 2018

NHS care bundle aimed at reducing stillbirths produces encouraging results

Maternity experts have given a cautious thumbs-up to best practice guidance on reducing stillbirths after a major independent evaluation found it probably helped to prevent baby deaths.

The evaluation of the Saving Babies' Lives Care Bundle (SBLCB) by the University of Manchester found a 20% reduction in the number of stillbirths at 19 'early adopter' trusts.

While researchers stressed the drop in stillbirths could not be specifically linked to use of the SBLCB, they concluded that the guidance was likely to have had an impact.

Meanwhile, they found an increase in the identification and monitoring of small babies and greater awareness of fetal movement among expectant mothers, with a high number raising concerns and an increase in scans and obstetric intervention as a result.

Overall, the report by the Tommy's Centre for Stillbirth Research based at the university suggested that 161 stillbirths may have been prevented at trusts involved in the trial, with 1,106 fewer stillbirths across the whole of England between April 2015 and April 2017.


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