Post-mortem techniques in the perinatal population
Loss of a baby during pregnancy, childbirth or beyond can happen for many different reasons. It is important that we are able to support parents as much as possible during this difficult time. One of the ways we can do this is by ensuring we offer the best available post-mortem care for their baby. This project is centered around the use of non-invasive or minimally invasive test for diagnosing the cause of death babies who pass away during the perinatal period. We aim to assess the diagnostic accuracy of the tests when used in this population group by conducting a systematic review of the current evidence. To support this, we are investigating methodologies which will help us collect as much evidence as possible to inform the review. We have compiled two work packages to address these goals. Details of the work packages can be found in the About section.
The perinatal population consists of babies from early pregnancy up to 1 year of age. For these work packages we are using UK terminology to express loss at different stages of development. We are including prenatal losses (under 24 weeks of pregnancy), stillbirths (24 weeks of pregnancy - birth), neonatal losses (under 28 days old) and infant losses (29 days old - 1 year old). We have chosen to cover a wide variety of non-invasive or minimally invasie tests, including imaging techniques, laboratory analysis techniques, visual and verbal techniques.