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Tuesday, 11 January, 2000, 16:54 GMT
Computer technology to cut stillbirths

New born baby Technology could save lives


Computer technology could help to cut the number of stillbirths.

Doctors in the West Midlands have developed a way to produce a personalised chart to predict exactly how fast every baby should grow inside the womb.

The idea is to spot problems in pregnancy, so that doctors can intervene before it is too late.

The new technology has been developed by Dr Jason Gardosi, from the West Midlands Perinatal Institute.

Dr Gardosi said the system should give early warning to doctors that they might need to deliver a foetus that was not growing properly.

"We know that from 30 weeks onwards the chance of survival of a baby if delivered in good condition is almost 100%.

"We need to recognise there is a problem in order to do the further tests that are required and then to get the baby out, to save it from an unfavourable inter-uterine environment, rather than let it die in utero from malnutrition."

The technology will also enable doctors to provide reassurance to mothers whose pregnancy is progressing smoothly.

At present, about two-thirds of stillbirths remain unexplained, but Dr Gardosi said many were probably related to poor growth in the uterus.

The technology can produce an individualised growth chart which is based on information such as the mother's height, weight, ethnic group and number of previous pregnancies.

At present, there is no successful way to boost foetal growth in the uterus.

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See also:
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Radiation link with stillbirths
06 Jul 99 |  Health
Massive study into premature babies
05 Aug 99 |  Health
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