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Pilot study of revised stillbirth and neonatal death certificates.
  1. B Gedalla,
  2. M R Alderson


    Draft revised stillbirth and early infant death certificates were sent with a short questionnaire to certifying doctors for 206 stillbirths and 198 neonatal deaths for which death certificates had been received in the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys over a three week period in 1982. The new certificates complied with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation and asked for details of the cause of death, including separate sections for maternal and fetal conditions. Replies were received for 163 stillbirths and 151 neonatal deaths. Questionnaires were examined clerically and answers and comments analysed. Draft certificates were processed by computer to examine any differences between the causes of death given on the new forms and information given on the original certificates. This testing suggested that revised certificates are acceptable. Extension of the early infant death certificate to cover all neonatal deaths does not seem to create problems and should provide information on the association between maternal conditions and deaths occurring in the second to fourth weeks of life. If the full potential of the new certificates is to be realised, attention needs to be given to the detailed layout of the forms and clearer notes of guidance. Certifiers need to be encouraged to give appropriate details of any obstetric problems.

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    • Original article
      E Alberman