Detection and prevention of stillbirths
The detection and prevention of fetuses at risk for stillbirth; specifically, those not detected by traditional means using a continuous-wave Doppler ultrasound, an Umbiflow. A pilot study has been established in 9 sites in South Africa. The project has been extended to 5 African countries as Umbiflow international.
The development of Umbiflow was funded by the Council for Scientific Research (CSIR) and The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). It is also the result of a successful collaboration between the Gauteng, Western Cape, and National departments of health.
An initial study conducted by SAMRC and the University of Pretoria’s Maternal and Infant Health Care Strategies Unit in Mamelodi, Pretoria, revealed that the device reduced the perinatal mortality rate in the study group by over 50% when compared to the control group.
The UmbiBaby study followed up 91 infants from the Umbiflow International Study, which uses the innovative low-cost Umbiflow device to screen for in utero growth restriction due to placental insufficiency, which is thought to be one of the major causes of stillbirths in low- and middle-income countries.
In the UmbiBaby study, infants were followed up over 8-time points in the first two years of life postpartum. Infants who had been identified within utero growth restriction (abnormal Doppler values) from the Umbiflow International study will be compared to infants who had a normal Doppler in utero from the same study. The main outcomes of the UmbiBaby study are the infant’s growth, body composition and neurological development and it is envisaged that the study will provide valuable information on the management of growth-restricted infants postpartum, who before Umbiflow screening may have been stillbirths.
In the UmbiBaby study, infants who have been identified within utero growth restriction from the Umbiflow International study will be compared with premature and healthy full-term infants from the same study over the first year of life postpartum. The main outcomes of the UmbiBaby study will be the infant’s growth, body composition and neurological development and it is envisaged that the study will provide valuable information on the management of growth-restricted infants postpartum, who before Umbiflow screening may have been stillbirths.
The UmbiGodisa study aims to recruit a total of 300 infants from the Umbiflow International Study at a single time point of 18 months. The main objective of this larger cross-sectional study is to evaluate the dual burden of abnormal Doppler values in utero and maternal HIV infection on infant outcomes, such as infant growth, body composition and neurodevelopment.
- Umbiflow SA: SAMRC & CSIR
- Umbiflow International: WHO
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