Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Necropsy rates in the United Birmingham Hospitals.

Br Med J 1975; 2 doi: (Published 10 May 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;2:326
  1. H A Waldron,
  2. L Vickerstaff


    The necropsy rate in the United Birmingham Hospital has fallen from 74-4% in 1958 to 46-0% in 1972. In the Birmingham region as a whole the rate is 27-3%, approximately equal to the national rate. Most clinicians in the group who replied to a standard questionary considered that the necropsy still has an important part to play in their own practice and in undergraduate training, and they viewed the declining rate as a matter for concern. Some measure of disagreement was found between the ante-mortem and post-mortem diagnoses of patients in the two largest hospitals in the group. This suggests that the necropsy has a role to play in medical audit and that attempts to reverse the declining trend should be encouraged.