Entries in Delivery (12)


World Health Organization: Stillbirths Affect Millions Globally

Comstock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) -- Over 2.6 million women worldwide deliver a stillborn baby each year, according to a special series published in The Lancet Wednesday.

According to the series, which offers the first comprehensive look at the heavy global burden of stillbirths around the world, more than 7,300 stillbirths occur every day.

The World Health Organization defines "stillbirth" as fetal death after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Ninety-eight percent of stillbirths happen in low- and middle-income countries, and nearly half of them occur during childbirth, particularly among women who do not have access to basic medical services.  But even in wealthy countries, one in 200 pregnancies results in a stillbirth.

Stillbirth rates vary dramatically, both among and within nations.  Collectively, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, China and Bangladesh account for half of stillbirths worldwide.  In India, rates vary by state, from 20 to 66 per 1,000 births.

Within the United States, which has a national rate of three stillbirths per 1,000 births and ranks 17th out of 193 countries, non-Hispanic blacks experience double the stillbirth rate of white women.

Ways to prevent these deaths are relatively simple and well-known, and the series' authors conclude that global use of 10 interventions could prevent 45 percent of stillbirths.  The availability of comprehensive emergency obstetric services alone, which can prevent complications at the moment of childbirth, could prevent nearly 700,000 stillbirths, according to the series.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


New Drug May Prevent Premature Births

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first drug to help prevent premature birth in women who have had at least one previous preterm delivery.

"The most common risk factor for preterm birth is recurrence," said Dr. Alan Fleischman, March of Dimes senior vice president and medical director. "This is the first approved drug to prevet recurrence for women who have had a singleton preterm baby and now have a singleton baby," he added.

Makena, expected to reduce the risk of premature births, will in turn, lower the risk of infant complications at delivery, lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy and death.

Preterm birth affects one in eight babies born in the United States, according to the March of Dimes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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