Document Detail

Errors in the certification of neonatal death.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11036809     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To examine the precision of the perinatal death certificate (PDC) and ascertain the possible sources of error in the certification of neonatal deaths. METHODS: The 'Main' and 'Other' causes of death recorded on the PDC were obtained from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages and compared with those from a clinicopathological summary (CPS) completed after all pending laboratory results and/or autopsy information were available. RESULTS: There were 179 neonatal deaths during the 7 year period under review. The PDC and CPS main causes of death were concordant in 103 of 179 infants (58%) and discordant in the remaining 76 infants (42%). The PDC main cause of death was incorrectly classified in 61 of 76 infants (80%) with discordant findings and was incompletely classified in the remaining 15 infants (20%). The following discordancies were recorded for the 61 infants with an incorrect classification: (i) transposition of the 'Main' and 'Other' causes of death, resulting in a sequencing discordancy in 14 infants (23%); (ii) recording a non-pathological condition as the main cause of death in 40 infants (66%); and (iii) recording an incorrect pathological condition as the main cause of death in seven infants (11%). Eight of the 61 (13%) incorrect classifications and four of the 15 (27%) incomplete classifications were associated with laboratory and/or autopsy data being unavailable when the PDC was completed. CONCLUSIONS: The concordancy between the PDC and CPS would have increased from 58 to 91% if the 'Main' and 'Other' causes of death had been sequenced correctly, if the main cause of death had been ascribed to a pathological disease rather than a non-pathological condition and if corrective information from pending laboratory tests and/or autopsy examination had been made available to the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
R Hunt; P Barr
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of paediatrics and child health     Volume:  36     ISSN:  1034-4810     ISO Abbreviation:  J Paediatr Child Health     Publication Date:  2000 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-02     Completed Date:  2001-02-02     Revised Date:  2007-09-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9005421     Medline TA:  J Paediatr Child Health     Country:  AUSTRALIA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  498-501     Citation Subset:  IM    
The New Children's Hospital, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Cause of Death
Death Certificates*
Infant, Newborn
Retrospective Studies

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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