Scottish authorities launch investigation into unexplained newborn death


The Scottish government has ordered an investigation into two mysterious spikes in neonatal deaths in six months.

The Scottish government announced on Friday that it had asked Health Care Improvement Scotland to lead a broader investigation into rising newborn mortality.pdf).

According to figures released by Public Health Scotland (PHS)the mortality rate exceeded the set threshold as the number of deaths exceeded expectations in both September 2021 and March 2022.

At least 21 babies died in September 2021 and at least 18 babies under 4 weeks old in March 2022.

according to, the neonatal mortality rates in September 2021 and March 2022 were 4.9 and 4.6 per 1,000 live births, respectively. Neonatal mortality refers to mortality within the first four weeks of life.

Initial findings in September 2021 from a preliminary study discounted links to COVID-19 transmission.

In May, Sarah Stock, an expert in maternal and fetal medicine at the University of Edinburgh who has led a study on COVID-19 and pregnancies in Scotland, told the Herald that “the numbers are really troubling,” and officials were unaware of the cause. I pointed out not… yet.

“What we do know is that it’s not COVID in newborns… COVID-19 infection rates in babies are very low, and deaths from COVID are thankfully very low, so this affects babies.” It’s not COVID,” Stock said at the time.

“Two very distinct spikes”

The review considers systems, processes, and governance for the delivery of neonatal care relevant to the scope of the review. Once the review team is formed, it is expected to take no more than six to nine months.

Diagnostic pathologist Dr. Claire Craig told the Epoch Times that there were “two very distinct spikes in that data,” and the timing of those spikes is concerning.

“But they need to look into it. You can’t make that assumption,” she warned, adding that the total number of neonatal deaths should be easy to look into.

Craig is part of the Health Advisory and Recovery Team, a group of experts skeptical of policies and guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement accompanying the Scottish government’s announcement, Public Health Minister Marie Todd said: So earlier this year, we committed to this review to find out if there was a reason for the increase.

“We understand how difficult this time is for everyone affected and we encourage you to reach out for support if you wish,” she added.

“National Belief Care Pathways Scotland and the Scottish Government website provide information on organization and support,” said Todd.

PA Media and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Owen Evans


Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech, covering stories from a wide variety of countries.