• Intrapartum fetal deaths and unexpected neonatal deaths in the Republic of Ireland: 2011 - 2014; a descriptive study.

      McNamara, K; O'Donoghue, K; Greene, R A (BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 2018-01-04)
      Intrapartum fetal death, the death of a fetus during labour, is a tragic outcome of pregnancy. The intrapartum death rate of a country is reflective of the care received by mothers and babies in labour and it is through analysing these cases that good aspects of care, as well as areas for improvement can be identified. Investigating unexpected neonatal deaths that may be associated with an intrapartum event is also helpful to fully appraise intrapartum care. This is a descriptive study of intrapartum fetal deaths and unexpected neonatal deaths in Ireland from 2011 to 2014. Anonymised data pertaining to all intrapartum fetal deaths and unexpected neonatal deaths for the study time period was obtained from the national perinatal epidemiology centre. All statistical analyses were conducted using Statistical package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). There were 81 intrapartum fetal deaths from 2011 to 2014, and 36 unexpected neonatal deaths from 2012 to 2014. The overall intrapartum death rate was 0.29 per 1000 births and the corrected intrapartum fetal death rate was 0.16 per 1000 births. The overall unexpected neonatal death rate was 0.17 per 1000 live births. Major Congenital Malformation accounted for 36/81 intrapartum deaths, chorioamnionitis for 18/81, and placental abruption accounted for eight babies' deaths. Intrapartum asphyxia accounted for eight of the intrapartum deaths. With respect to the neonatal deaths over half (21/36, 58.3%) of the babies died as a result of hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. Information is also reported on both maternal and individual baby demographics. This is the first detailed descriptive analysis of intrapartum deaths and unexpected intrapartum event related neonatal deaths in Ireland. The corrected intrapartum fetal death rate was 0.16 per 1000 births. Despite our results being based on the best available national data on intrapartum deaths and unexpected neonatal deaths, we were unable to identify if any of these deaths could have been prevented. A more formal confidential inquiry based system is necessary to fully appraise these cases.
    • Placental growth factor in assessment of women with suspected pre-eclampsia to reduce maternal morbidity: a stepped wedge cluster randomised control trial (PARROT Ireland).

      Hayes-Ryan, D; Khashan, A S; Hemming, K; Easter, C; Devane, D; Murphy, D J; Hunter, A; Cotter, A; McAuliffe, F M; Morrison, J J; et al. (BMJ, 2021-08-13)
      Objective: To determine whether the addition of placental growth factor (PlGF) measurement to current clinical assessment of women with suspected pre-eclampsia before 37 weeks' gestation would reduce maternal morbidity without increasing neonatal morbidity. Design: Stepped wedge cluster randomised control trial from 29 June 2017 to 26 April 2019. Setting: National multisite trial in seven maternity hospitals throughout the island of Ireland PARTICIPANTS: Women with a singleton pregnancy between 20+0 to 36+6 weeks' gestation, with signs or symptoms suggestive of evolving pre-eclampsia. Of the 5718 women screened, 2583 were eligible and 2313 elected to participate. Intervention: Participants were assigned randomly to either usual care or to usual care plus the addition of point-of-care PlGF testing based on the randomisation status of their maternity hospital at the time point of enrolment. Main outcomes measures: Co-primary outcomes of composite maternal morbidity and composite neonatal morbidity. Analysis was on an individual participant level using mixed-effects Poisson regression adjusted for time effects (with robust standard errors) by intention-to-treat. Results: Of the 4000 anticipated recruitment target, 2313 eligible participants (57%) were enrolled, of whom 2219 (96%) were included in the primary analysis. Of these, 1202 (54%) participants were assigned to the usual care group, and 1017 (46%) were assigned the intervention of additional point-of-care PlGF testing. The results demonstrate that the integration of point-of-care PlGF testing resulted in no evidence of a difference in maternal morbidity-457/1202 (38%) of women in the control group versus 330/1017 (32%) of women in the intervention group (adjusted risk ratio (RR) 1.01 (95% CI 0.76 to 1.36), P=0.92)-or in neonatal morbidity-527/1202 (43%) of neonates in the control group versus 484/1017 (47%) in the intervention group (adjusted RR 1.03 (0.89 to 1.21), P=0.67). Conclusions: This was a pragmatic evaluation of an interventional diagnostic test, conducted nationally across multiple sites. These results do not support the incorporation of PlGF testing into routine clinical investigations for women presenting with suspected preterm pre-eclampsia, but nor do they exclude its potential benefit. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02881073.