Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Perinatal mortality: a continuing collaborative regional survey.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 09 June 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1717


A collaborative survey of perinatal mortality in each district of the Northern region set up in July 1980 was able to obtain information on 99% of all the registered perinatal deaths among babies born in 1981-2 to mothers resident in the region. There were 12.4 perinatal deaths/1000 births over this two year period, but 41% of the stillbirths and early neonatal deaths were of babies with a lethal malformation or weighing less than 1000 g at birth (or both). All causes of perinatal mortality had become less common than they had been at the time of the National Birthday Trust survey in 1958, though there had been a relatively small decrease in the number of deaths due to malformation (in the absence of any neural tube defect) and in the number of stillbirths of normally developed fetuses: 36% of the antepartum stillbirths among non-malformed singleton fetuses were associated with poor fetal growth (weight below the fifth centile at birth) and 21% were due to sudden unexplained placental abruption.