Appendix D

Radiographic Studies of Stillborns

Antepartum ultrasound reports should be provided for the investigation of the stillborn. These should document any noted anomalies; fetal weight; amniotic fluid and placental abnormalities. It may be of benefit to perform an antenatal ultrasound prior to delivery of the stillborn.

Post-mortem ultrasonography, where available, may be useful when the family does not consent to a full autopsy.

Note: Photographs and radiographic studies should only be taken if consent has been received from the parent(s). The discussion around performing these studies should be documented on the patient care record.

Babygram

Radiographs of stillborns are useful in detecting and documenting abnormalities (primary skeletal) which may not be detected on cursory physical examination.

Investigation should include:

  • AP plain radiograph of the whole body. The limbs should be straightened as much as possible and, if possible, placed in anatomic position resulting in AP views of both the arms and the legs. The head and all limbs including hands and feet should be included.
  • Lateral view of the skull.

If structural abnormalities are present, separate films should be taken of the abnormal parts. More detailed films will be helpful if the stillborn is obviously dwarfed, including AP and lateral of all limbs and AP of the hands and lateral spine.

Ultrasonography

Antepartum ultrasound reports should be provided for the investigation of the stillborn. These should document any noted anomalies; fetal weight; amniotic fluid and placental abnormalities. It may be of benefit to perform an antenatal ultrasound prior to delivery of the stillborn.

Postmortem ultrasonography, where available, may be useful when the family does not consent to a full autopsy.

Note: Photographs and radiographic studies should only be taken if consent has been received from the parent(s). The discussion around performing these studies should be documented on the patient care record.