London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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London County Council 1912

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Annual Report of the London County Council, 1912.
Still births.

During the year, 258 midwives reported having stillbirths in their practice, the number of stillborn children being 670. This represents 2.4 per cent. of the births.

1 midwife reported 14 stillbirths14
1 „ „ 12 „12
2 midwives each reported 11 stillbirths22
2 „ „ 10 „20
4 „ „ 9 „36
9 „ „ 7 „63
8 „ „ 6 „48
17 ,, ,, 5 „85
20 „ „ 4 „80
26 „ „ 3 „78
44 „ „ 288
124 „ „ 1 stillbirth124

The form for notifying stillbirths provides for information as to (a) sex of child; (b) period of
gestation; (c) whether macerated or not; (d) presentation.
The information obtained under (a) showed that 332 still-born infants were males, 335 females,
and in three cases the sex was not stated.

The following table shows the information obtained under (b) and (c):—

Condition of child.Total cases.Period of gestation.
Full term.8 months.7 months.6 months or less.Not stated.
Not macerated3112143837211
No statement103412

The presentations were as follows:—

Vertex410Hand, arm and shoulder12
Complicated vertex31Funis5
Breech105Placenta prævia1
Complicated breech8Born before arrival and presentation not known56
Face or brow6Total670

Some additional information was obtained as to still-born infants not macerated, of eight or more months' gestation, as follows:—

Concerning the child—Cord round neck2
One of triplets1Encephalic head1
One of twins17Born in membranes1
Malformed child4Concerning the mother—
White asphyxia1Difficult labour5
Blue asphyxia1

Death of
mother or
The rules of the Central Midwives Board require the midwife to notify to the local supervising
authority all cases in which the mother or child dies before the attendance of a registered medical
practitioner. In 27 cases midwives notified the deaths of infants, and in three cases notices of deaths
of mothers were received.
By the courtesy of the London coroners notices are sent of inquests in which midwives are concerned
and one of the Council's inspectors attends the court to hear the evidence and learn whether the
midwife has complied with the rules of the Board. Ninety-three inquests were thus reported upon,
including cases attended by uncertified women as well as by certified midwives. In the following
table particulars are given with respect to these cases:—
Confinement conducted by
Total number
of inquests.
Deaths of
Deaths of
Midwives 91 7 84
Uncertified women 2 0 2
93 7 86