The stillbirth checklist

The stillbirth checklist

T. Caballe Bel (1), R. Heras Trejo (2), I. Perez Pinedo (2), C. Garcia Terol (3), M. Brito Vera (4)

(1) Midwife (2) Obstetric Nurses (3) Head of Maternity Services, (4) Obstetrician
Parc Sanitari San Joan de Deu, Sant Boi, Barcelona, Spain

Following a stillbirth, the parents have to face a situation that they would probably never thought about: giving birth to a dead baby. Perinatal loss is still a taboo in our society. Even in the health sector it continues to be a situation very difficult to address. Health professionals and more so those who work in maternity units, often find their previous professional training in dealing with grief, which is often non-existent, put to test when faced with a perinatal death. The “avoidance” and “confusion” in these cases, the lack of specific and/or correct information from different professionals, who may even contradict each other, neither help families, but can worsen the grief process.

At the Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu (PSSJD hereafter), we considered the need to have a multidisciplinary care pathway to look after these families. The PSSJD’s guide provide the professionals with a checklist, to help the team members to know exactly in which point of the complicated process we are, what has been done or said and what is left to do or to explain to the parents. The identified checklist starts at the time of diagnosis, and follows the mother from admission to hospital discharge. All actions are recorded and included in the mother medical records.

Recognizing our own lack of resources and / or knowledge in the care of families that have suffered a perinatal loss is the first step to improve the quality of the care we provide.
The authors declare informed consent was sought from the parents involved, their confidentiality and anonymity is preserved, and there is no ethical conflict

Ethics statement:
No ethics approval required.

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