Stillbirths from the perspective of preventable deaths: a preliminary analysis for the city of Belo Horizonte

Objectives: To analyze, based on the Brazilian List of Preventable Causes (in Portuguese, LBE), the fetal mortality from 2008 to 2010 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Methods: We used data from the Mortality Information System (SIM). Fetus weight and fetal death causes variables were used. The database had 1,685 fetal deaths in Belo Horizonte from 2008 to 2010; 316 deaths that were not in agreement with the fetal death definition were excluded. After the exclusion, fetal deaths whose weight was less than 1,500 g were classified according to LBE. SPPS version 12 was used for statistical analysis. Results: Among 1,369 stillbirths, 823 deaths were excluded (less than 1,500 g), and 546 potentially avoidable deaths remained for analysis. Among those, 62.1% were avoidable. Conclusion: A high proportion of preventable deaths indicates that there is a need for improved prenatal care and childbirth.