The role of perinatal palliative care following prenatal diagnosis of major, incurable fetal anomalies: a multicentre prospective cohort study

Title

The role of perinatal palliative care following prenatal diagnosis of major, incurable fetal anomalies: a multicentre prospective cohort study

Creator

de Barbeyrac C; Roth P; Noël C; Anselem O; Gaudin A; Roumegoux C; Azcona B; Castel C; Noret M; Letamendia E; Stirnemann J; Ville Y; Lapillonne A; Viallard ML; Kermorvant-Duchemin E

Publisher

Bjog

Date

2021

Subject

advance care planning; fetal anomaly; incurable anomaly; life-limiting fetal diagnosis; perinatal palliative care

Description

OBJECTIVE: To describe prenatal decision-making processes and birth plans in pregnancies amenable to planning perinatal palliative care. DESIGN: Multicentre prospective observational study. SETTING: Nine Multidisciplinary Centres for Prenatal Diagnosis of the Paris-Ile-de-France region. POPULATION: All cases of major and incurable fetal anomaly where limitation of life-sustaining treatments for the neonate was discussed in the prenatal period between 2015 and 2016. METHODS: Cases of congenital defects amenable to perinatal palliative care were prospectively included in each centre. Prenatal diagnosis, decision-making process, type of birth plan, birth characteristics, pregnancy and neonatal outcome were collected prospectively and anonymously. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Final decision reached following discussions in the antenatal period. RESULTS: We identified 736 continuing pregnancies with a diagnosis of a severe fetal condition eligible for TOP. Perinatal palliative care was considered in 102/736 (13.9%) pregnancies (106 infants); discussions were multidisciplinary in 99/106 (93.4%) cases. Prenatal birth plans involved life-sustaining treatment limitation and comfort care in 73/736 (9.9%) of the pregnancies. The main reason for planning palliative care at birth was short-term inevitable death in 39 cases (53.4%). 76/106 (71.7%) infants were born alive. 18/106 (17%) infants were alive at last follow-up, including 4 with a perinatal palliative care birth plan. CONCLUSIONS: Only a small proportion of severe and incurable fetal disorders were potentially amenable to limitation of life-sustaining interventions. Perinatal palliative care may not be considered as an universal alternative to termination of pregnancy.

Rights

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Citation List Month

December 2021 List

Collection

Citation

de Barbeyrac C; Roth P; Noël C; Anselem O; Gaudin A; Roumegoux C; Azcona B; Castel C; Noret M; Letamendia E; Stirnemann J; Ville Y; Lapillonne A; Viallard ML; Kermorvant-Duchemin E, “The role of perinatal palliative care following prenatal diagnosis of major, incurable fetal anomalies: a multicentre prospective cohort study,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 2, 2022, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17738.

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