Stillborn in Brazil: could neonatal mortality be just the tip of the iceberg? / Natimortos no Brasil: a mortalidade neonatal pode ser apenas a ponta do iceberg?

Cássia Lorena Dantas Rodrigues, Ricardo Queiroz Gurgel, Débora Cristina Fontes Leite


INTRODUCTION: Stillbirth has an estimation of more than 2.5 million cases across the world. A great percentage of the cause of stillbirths is reported as unknown or unexplained. The aim of this study was the identification of the causes, incidence and profile of the fetal and also the mothers in a maternity hospital in the State of Sergipe. METHODS: This was an observational and cross-sectional study in which all stillbirths of the maternal hospital in the State of Sergipe from June 2020 to May 2021 were included. Fetal death investigation forms were analyzed and some women were interviewed through telephone calls. The interview was based on the SAMPLE VA questionnaire 1 from the WHO Verbal autopsy instrument and an additional list to assess the maternal, pregnancy and labor history, and also history of signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection. RESULTS: A total of 10375 births were delivered at the hospital and the months with highest births were May and March of 2021. We found 64 cases of stillbirth. Forty-two cases of neonatal deaths were also registered. Only 11 women with cases of stillbirth were interviewed in our study. The major participants were married or living with a partner (60%) and finished secondary education (63.63%). There were 5 cases of women with gestational age at 37 weeks or greater. Antenatal care was completed by 90.9%(n=10) of women. The majority (54.5%) had Unknown or unexplained causes of death. The remaining categories also showed relevant results. CONCLUSION: Fetal deaths were responsible for approximately 60% of perinatal deaths, in which the most reported cause in our interview were unexplained or unknown. The total number of deaths when neonatal deaths were added almost duplicated the percentage of the mortality rate at the maternity hospital. All women went into labor with less than 42 weeks of gestational age and greater or equal to 22 and most were healthy and had no diagnosed diseases.


cause of death, neonatal death, stillbirth .

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