Term fetal deaths occurring in Virginia in 1983 were reviewed to determine potential preventability. During this period, 52 (48%) of 108 such deaths were judged preventable. The leading cause of preventable antepartum death was maternal hypertension, followed by diabetes, inadequate fetal surveillance, and postterm pregnancy. The major cause of intrapartum fetal death was long delay between the onset of obvious fetal compromise and delivery. The incidence of preventable term stillbirth seemed inversely proportional to hospital size.
© 1987 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists