Stillbirths at a hospital in Nablus, 2010: a cohort study
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Background: Stillbirths are insufficiently reported in many countries. In Nablus, reporting has recently started; little is published in Palestine on the stillbirth rate and its risk factors.
Objective: To study the rate of stillbirths at Rafidia Hospital in 2010 and some of its risk factors.
Design: A retrospective cohort design.
Methods: Data were collected from the delivery registry for all births and we analysed those with a gestation of 28 weeks or more at Rafidia Hospital. Stillbirth rates were estimated for available determinants.
Results: In 2010, a total of 5,644 women gave birth to 5,782 babies, of whom 41 were stillbirths, that is, a stillbirth rate of 7.1/1,000 births (95% confidence interval 5.2 9.5). Premature babies had a higher risk of being a stillbirth. For small babies, the lower the birth weight the higher was the probability of being a stillbirth, and for babies weighing 4,500 g or more there was a higher risk of being stillborn. The risk of stillbirth was also higher among babies from mothers with high haemoglobin concentration, but low maternal haemoglobin was not associated with stillbirths.
Conclusions: The stillbirth rates at Rafidia hospital assessed in this study compares favourably with the reported national numbers, indicating a good reliability of the on-going registration. The rates were highest among premature births. Stillbirth was linked to low birth weight, foetal macrosomia, and maternal haemoconcentration. We believe the findings identify areas to address when designing antenatal care with the aim of improving perinatal mortality in the country.