The WHO application of ICD-10 to deaths during the perinatal period (ICD-PM): results from pilot database testing in South Africa and United Kingdom

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Abstract

Objective

To apply the World Health Organization (WHO) Application of the International Classification of Diseases, tenth revision (ICD-10) to deaths during the perinatal period: ICD-Perinatal Mortality (ICD-PM) to existing perinatal death databases.

Design

Retrospective application of ICD-PM.

Setting

South Africa, UK.

Population

Perinatal death databases.

Methods

Deaths were grouped according to timing of death and then by the ICD-PM cause of death. The main maternal condition at the time of perinatal death was assigned to each case.

Main outcome measures

Causes of perinatal mortality, associated maternal conditions.

Results

In South Africa 344/689 (50%) deaths occurred antepartum, 11% (n = 74) intrapartum and 39% (n = 271) in the early neonatal period. In the UK 4377/9067 (48.3%) deaths occurred antepartum, with 457 (5%) intrapartum and 4233 (46.7%) in the neonatal period. Antepartum deaths were due to unspecified causes (59%), chromosomal abnormalities (21%) or problems related to fetal growth (14%). Intrapartum deaths followed acute intrapartum events (69%); neonatal deaths followed consequences of low birthweight/ prematurity (31%), chromosomal abnormalities (26%), or unspecified causes in healthy mothers (25%). Mothers were often healthy; 53%, 38% and 45% in the antepartum, intrapartum and neonatal death groups, respectively. Where there was a maternal condition, it was most often maternal medical conditions, and complications of placenta, cord and membranes.

Conclusions

The ICD-PM can be a globally applicable perinatal death classification system that emphasises the need for a focus on the mother—baby dyad as we move beyond 2015.

Tweetable abstract

ICD-PM is a global system that classifies perinatal deaths and links them to maternal conditions.

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