The Perinatal Mortality Surveillance Report 2021 by MBRRACE-UK, covering data from January to December 2021, has revealed that mortality rates increased across the UK in 2021, after seven years of continuous reduction.
From 2013 to 2020 there was a year-on-year reduction in the total number of stillbirths and the total number of neonatal deaths. However, 2021 saw an increase in both stillbirths and neonatal deaths and their respective mortality rates. There were 2,473 stillbirths in 2021, compared with 2,292 stillbirths in 2020 and 2,399 in 2019. There were 1,151 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births in 2021, compared with 1,051 neonatal deaths in 2020 and 1,158 in 2019.
Stillbirth, neonatal mortality and extended perinatal mortality rates increased in the UK in 2021, ending the consistent reduction in UK rates since 2013. The extended perinatal mortality rate for 2021 across the UK as a whole was 5.19 per 1,000 total births (4.85 in 2020); comprising 3.54 stillbirths per 1,000 total births (3.33 in 2020) and 1.65 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births (1.53 in 2020).
The report also highlights a concerning trend of ethnic inequalities in perinatal mortality, with babies of Black ethnicity experiencing the highest rates of both stillbirth and neonatal death. This is in contrast to babies of Asian and white ethnicity, whose rates have increased at a lower rate.
“In the face of rising neonatal and stillbirth deaths, our commitment to saving babies’ lives has never been stronger. Group B Strep remains the leading bacterial cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies. At Group B Strep Support, we will continue to call for all pregnant women and birthing people to be informed about GBS as part of standard antenatal care, as well as providing vital support to those who have been affected by group B Strep.”Jane Plumb MBE FRCOG FRSA, Chief executive at groUp b strep supporT
To read the whole report, visit https://timms.le.ac.uk/mbrrace-uk-perinatal-mortality/surveillance/