Placental position and late stillbirth: a case-control study.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between placental position and stillbirth with the objective of establishing if placental position impacted on stillbirth risk.
Whilst there has been extensive research on low placental implantation because of the importance of detecting placenta praevia, little research has been undertaken on other aspects of placental position and possible impact on pregnancy outcome.
A matched case-control study of stillbirth and placental position was conducted using case-notes from two tertiary obstetric referral centres.
Notes were retrospectively examined and Placental position as documented in the case-notes at the routine mid-trimester (20 week) ultrasound was identified. Placental position for a total of 124 pregnancies culminating in stillbirth was compared with placental position in 243 (matched) pregnancies resulting in a live born baby.
Women who had a posterior located placenta were statistically more likely to suffer a stillbirth than women who had a placenta in any other position OR 1.64 (95%CI 1.02-2.65 p = 0.04).
Posterior located placenta may be a contributory risk factor for stillbirth. Further research is warranted. Implications for practice. Nurses and midwives should be aware of this potential risk factor to monitor foetal well-being closely.