Perinatal pathologists have a vital role in stillbirth reviewBMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5620 (Published 06 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5620
- Margaret Jane Evans, consultant perinatal pathologist
- Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
The secretary of state for health, Jeremy Hunt, has recently called for coroners to be granted special powers to investigate stillbirths. The extent of these powers has yet to be clarified. There is, however, already a mechanism in place for the coroner to investigate certain categories of sudden unexplained neonatal and infant death, and it is not appropriate to extend these powers to all stillbirths and every early neonatal death. All encompassing, non-pejorative, and timely local reviews carried out by a multidisciplinary team would lead to a better understanding of the factors leading to serious injury or stillbirth, and may help reduce the rate of such deaths.
In the UK the rate of stillbirth remains higher …