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PPO.24 The impact of the frequency of fetal ultrasound in the third trimester and the rate of stillbirth in low risk pregnancies
  1. F Mone1,2,
  2. M Shrivashankar2,
  3. S Ong2
  1. 1National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast, UK


Objectives To determine if performing fetal growth scans once or twice in the third trimester of pregnancy has an impact on the stillbirth rate in low-risk pregnancies

Methods A retrospective observational study was performed in a tertiary centre. Data was collected using the computerised Northern Ireland Maternity System (NIMATs) on all births and stillbirths in the Royal Maternity Hospital from 2009–2012. We compared pre-2011 versus post 2011 i.e. when patients were scanned twice in the third trimester versus once routinely. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS

Results There were 18,856 deliveries in ‘low-risk’ patients from 2009–2012. The average stillbirth rate in this group was 0.25% per number of low risk pregnancies per annum. The stillbirth rate in the 2009/2010 group was 0.25%. The stillbirth rate in the 2012 group was 0.27%. This difference was not statistically significant [p = 0.897; chi square = 0.017; df =1].

Conclusions This study indicates that there is no difference in stillbirth rate when a strategy of scanning once or twice in the third trimester of pregnancy is employed in women with an apparent normal pregnancy. A randomised controlled trial is required to determine if routine fetal biometry can reduce stillbirth. This is unlikely to be performed given the large numbers required to perform such a trial which is approximately 250,000 subjects per arm.

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