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A comparison of stillborn birth weights and postmortem weights.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pediatric and developmental pathology : the official journal of the Society for Pediatric Pathology and the Paediatric Pathology Society
Publication Date
Volume
13
Issue
6
Pages
442–446
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2350/09-07-0679-OA.1
PMID: 20233064
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Birth weights obtained by the nurses in the labor and delivery room were compared with the postmortem weights examination prospectively in 212 stillborns. The effects of gestational age, degree of maceration, birth weight, gender, and time elapsed from delivery to postmortem examinations were also examined. There were 96 female and 116 male stillborns in the study. The gestational ages ranged from 14 to 42 weeks. The degree of maceration ranged from 0 to 5, 0 being no maceration and 5 representing the most extreme condition, which was mummification. There was an average of a 50 g decrease in the weights of all stillborns when their birth weights and postmortem weights were compared. This was equal to an average relative weight loss of 7.1%. When all the variables were examined, only the degree of maceration and gestational age were identified to play significant roles in weight loss (P < 0.0001 for both). A higher degree of maceration meant more weight loss, whereas older gestational age led to less weight loss. There is significant discrepancy between the birth and postmortem examination weights of stillborns. Although gender, birth weight, and time elapsed from delivery to postmortem examination did not have any significant effects, the degree of maceration and gestational age affected the observed weight loss. In stillborns, birth weights are more accurate than weights obtained at postmortem examination.

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