Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Child health crisis

Rising infant mortality rates in England and Wales—we need to understand gestation specific mortality

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 08 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k1936
  1. Peter J Davis, consultant paediatric intensivist1,
  2. Alan C Fenton, consultant neonatal paediatrician2,
  3. Christopher J Stutchfield, specialist registrar1,
  4. Elizabeth S Draper, professor of perinatal and paediatric epidemiology3
  1. 1Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Bristol BS2 8BJ, UK
  2. 2Newcastle Neonatal Service, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK
  3. 3Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Centre for Medicine, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
  1. peter.davis{at}

The BMJ has covered the many legitimate concerns regarding the state of child health in the United Kingdom,12 but the reported rise in infant mortality rates from 2015 onwards3 requires a more detailed analysis before being included in this overall picture.

Infant mortality rates are calculated by combining neonatal (0 to 28 days) and postneonatal (4 weeks to 1 year) mortality rates. The …

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