Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Fetal and neonatal mortality: a matter of care? Report of a survey in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 10 October 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:894
  1. H I Wildschut,
  2. M C Tutein Nolthenius-Puylaert,
  3. V Wiedijk,
  4. P E Treffers,
  5. J Huber
  1. Academisch Medisch Centrum, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


    A detailed clinicopathological analysis of 223 consecutive fetal and neonatal deaths was carried out in Curaçao during 1984 and 1985; this included careful histological examination of 210 infants (94%). The crude death rate was 34.2 per 1000 total births. Malformation was the principal cause of death in 28 cases, antepartum haemorrhage in 19, hypertension in 25, and asphyxia in 35. Death was caused by problems of preterm birth in 68 cases. No specific cause could be found for 34 deaths. Improvement in the quality of obstetric care might substantially reduce both fetal and neonatal death rates.