For Physicians, Nurses, and Counselors
NOTE: These topics are intended for health professionals and are not appropriate for parents or other non-medical personnel
Health practitioners and counseling professionals may know little about intrauterine death, its causes, its frequency, and parental needs following such an experience. This is in part due to limits of the medical and scientific information regarding intrauterine death, but more to the lack of access to the information that does exist. WiSSP's experience with stillbirth assessment and compilation of medically relevant data provides professionals with information that may help to address questions surrounding a stillbirth and thus to better serve families who experience such a loss. It is our hope that availability of this information online will increase the number of adequately assessed stillborns and will aid in the establishment and maintenance of other comprehensive stillbirth assessment service programs elsewhere.
At this time, WiSSP will not be accepting new referrals.
We encourage providers caring for families that have experienced a stillbirth to continue to collect information, especially placental pathology reports, autopsy, and laboratory studies and to refer families that have questions regarding a stillbirth or second trimester loss to a maternal fetal medicine specialist and/or medical geneticist who will be able to make use of that information.
To find a genetic counselor anywhere in the country, you can search on the National Society of Genetic Counselors website: http://www.nsgc.org/page/find-a-gc-search
To find a maternal fetal medicine specialist, you can search on the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine website: https://www.smfm.org/members
Stillbirth Evaluation Packet
- Summary Sheet (PDF, 76 kb)
- Clinical Examination of the Stillborn (PDF, 42 kb)
- Instructions for Photos, X-rays, and Laboratory Testing (PDF, 35 kb)
The WiSSP Protocol
With WiSSP's guidance, physicians and nurses can follow through with comprehensive etiologic investigation of stillborn infants:
- Justification of the WiSSP Protocol
- Protocol flowchart
- Consent Procedures
- External Clinical Examinations
- Obtaining and Handling Specimens From Stillborns for Chromosome Study
- Obtaining Placental Samples for Cytogenetics Assessment
- Placental and Cord Examinations
- Internal Postmortem
- Kleihauer-Betke Testing
- Citations to Recent Literature
- Educational Resources Available from WiSSP - (including WiSSPers, our educational newsletter for practitioners and care providers who serve families of stillborn infants)
- WiSSP Scientific Publication Abstracts - summarize WiSSP's experience as a community-based stillbirth assessment service, findings about causes of intrauterine death, and information about selected processes.