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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, MD, FRCOG, Joachim W.

Editorial Board Member: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, Marc J.N.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Reiss, Irwin / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

9 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 1.577
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CiteScore 2016: 1.49

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Volume 38, Issue 3 (May 2010)


Avoidable mortality in small-for-gestational-age children in the Netherlands

Paul A.O.M. De Reu / Herman P. Oosterbaan
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jeroen Bosch Hospital, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Luc J.M. Smits
  • Department of Epidemiology, School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jan G. Nijhuis
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2010-02-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2010.027


Objective: To analyze avoidable perinatal mortality in small-for-gestational-age (SGA) children.

Methods: All SGA-children (≤10th percentile) among 22,189 newborns delivered after 24 weeks' gestation (175 days), from three regions of the Netherlands during 2003–2004 were evaluated. Cases of perinatal mortality were identified and assessed in a consensus model by perinatal audit groups for cause of death and the presence of substandard care factors (SSF). We analyzed all singleton SGA-cases with and without SSF for avoidable perinatal mortality.

Results: Out of 20,927 singletons, 2396 newborns were SGA. Of those, 59 died perinatally (2.46%), and 55 of which were assessed by perinatal audit groups. SSF by caregivers were found in 22 cases (40%). In 16 of these cases (29%) the relation to the perinatal death was considered possible or (very) probable. Of the cases without SSF by caregivers, 15 cases (25%) could possibly have been avoided: in 13 cases an avoidable condition and in 2 cases avoidable death were identified. Failure in the correct and timely diagnosis of fetal growth restriction appears to be an important issue in all cases of perinatal mortality in SGA-children. Before referral growth restriction was suspected only in 22% of all SGA cases during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Conclusions: More adequate action by caregivers could decrease perinatal mortality in nearly 1/3 among SGA-children. Adjustments in pregnancy monitoring, especially in low-risk pregnancies, such as routine ultrasound biometry examination, may improve the accuracy in detecting growth deviations and decreasing the number of possibly avoidable cases of perinatal mortality in this category.

Keywords: Growth restriction; Netherlands; perinatal mortality; small-for-gestational-age; substandard care factors

About the article

Corresponding author: Paul A.O.M. De Reu, RM Verloskundig Centrum Midden Brabant Pelgrimspad 3 5281 AA Boxtel The Netherlands

Received: 2009-05-29

Revised: 2009-08-27

Accepted: 2009-10-07

Published Online: 2010-02-02

Published Online: 2010-02-02

Published in Print: 2010-05-01

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2010.027.

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