Critical analysis of risk factors for intrapartum fetal death

Sharon Davidesko, Eitan Levitas, Eyal Sheiner, Tamar Wainstock, Gali Pariente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Intrapartum fetal death is devastating for both parents and medical caregivers. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk factors for intrapartum fetal death, which often influence management in subsequent pregnancies. Methods: This population-based cohort study included all singleton deliveries between the years 1991–2016 at Soroka University Medical Center. Trends over the years, risk factors for intrapartum fetal death and the effect of day of the week were examined. A generalized estimation equation (GEE) model was used to control for confounders. Results: During the study period 344,536 deliveries were recorded, of which 251 (0.1%) suffered intrapartum fetal death. Rates did not change significantly over the years (p = 0.130, using the chi-square test for trends). Preterm delivery, placental abruption, uterine rupture, shoulder dystocia, congenital malformations, severe preeclampsia and fetal malpresentation were significantly more common in pregnancies complicated by intrapartum death. Using a GEE model; shoulder dystocia (aOR 23.8, 95% CI 9.9–57.3, p < 0.005), uterine rupture (aOR 19.0, 95% CI 7.0–51.4, p < 0.05), preterm delivery (aOR 11.9, 95% CI 8.6–16.5, p < 0.001), placental abruption (aOR 6.2, 95% CI 4.1–9.4, p < 0.001), fetal malpresentation (aOR 3.6, 95% CI 2.6–4.9, p < 0.005) and congenital malformations (aOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.9–3.5, p < 0.05) were all independent risk factors for intrapartum fetal death. Weekend deliveries were not at increased risk of intrapartum fetal death. Conclusion: Several risk factors were identified for intrapartum fetal death, with shoulder dystocia demonstrating the highest risk. Unfortunately most factors are neither preventable nor predictable and interventions to decrease the rate of intrapartum fetal death remain elusive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1239-1245
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2022


  • Fetal demise
  • Intrapartum complications
  • Intrapartum fetal death
  • Risk factors
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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