Donor-funded stillbirth researcher named University Researcher of the Year
5 June 2017
Manchester clinician and stillbirth researcher Dr Alex Heazell, has been awarded a Distinguished Achievement Medal for being the University Researcher of the Year 2017.
Dr Heazell is a world leader in stillbirth research, and is the Clinical Director of the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre here at The University of Manchester.
In the UK, a stillbirth is classed as any death of an unborn baby after 24 weeks. One in 220 babies in the UK are stillborn, with prevalence rates being higher than average in Greater Manchester.
The centre’s work has three main aims: to understand why babies die, to prevent them from dying, and to offer improved care for parents of stillborn children.
Recent research by Dr Heazell and his team found a link between reduced fetal movement and increased rates of stillbirth. This resulted in a set of clinical guidelines rolled out to maternity health practitioners, identifying warning signs that might require intervention.
Dr Heazell has also established a dedicated clinic to care for families in pregnancies after stillbirth which has improved outcomes and parents' experience in subsequent pregnancies.
As a result, Dr Heazell and his team have already reduced preventable still births across Greater Manchester by 19%, and aim to increase this to 50% by 2020, with support from generous donors.
The prestigious award recognises the remarkable progress that he has made in all areas of his research over the past 12 months.
To find out more about Alex’s research into stillbirth, and what more can be achieved, read his impact story or watch the short documentary below.