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Stillbirths Spike in Scotland
April's data breaches warning limits
Whilst stillbirths are fortunately rare events in Scotland, the latest data for April 2023 shows a spike with a 113% increase from last month.
As you can see, April’s data has breached the blue dashed ‘warning limits’ with a stillbirth rate per 1,000 (live & still births) of 6.1. This sadly represents 22 stillbirths. The only other time this ‘warning limit’ has been breached in the last seven years was in July 2020, just after the first lockdown.
Comparing stillbirth rates just in April over the last six years, it is clear that this latest spike is abnormal.
Looking at just the April rates, the 2023 spike is 32% higher than the previously abnormal high during lockdown in 2020.
This is similar, but fortunately not quite as bad yet, to the neonatal death rate spikes in September 2021 and March 2022.
This triggered an investigation which concluded that COVID infection in mothers and babies did “not appear to have played a role”.
At the time of the investigation it was reported that “the vaccination status of the mothers of the infants who died is unknown and will not be released due to “patient confidentiality””.
Hopefully this time a more thorough investigation will be undertaken if the stillbirth rate remains high.
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