For healthcare professionals only

Research Article

Trends in hospital necropsy rates: Scotland 1961-74.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 18 June 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1577
  1. H M Cameron,
  2. E McGoogan,
  3. J Clarke,
  4. B A Wilson


    Examination of mortality statistic for Scottish hospitals showed that from 1961 to 1974 necropsy rates fell by almost 0-6% a year; by 1974, the rate over the whole country was 23% of hospital deaths. The fall resulted from a reduction in the number of necropsies and a coincident rise in the number of number of deaths in hospital. The necropsy rate fell with increasing age, was rather lower for women than men, and was lower for some diseases than others. There were considerable inaccuracies in the figures from which these trands were drawn, and these were in turn due to inaccurate recording of clinical and necropsy data. Examination of necropsy returns from the Scottish teaching hospital departments showed that, while a similar fall in necropsy rates was seen in some, there was no consistent pattern.