Document Detail

Value and quality of perinatal and infant postmortem examinations: cohort analysis of 400 consecutive deaths.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  7833753     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the contribution that perinatal and infant necropsy makes to clinical practice and to see how this might be influenced by the quality of the investigation. DESIGN: Cohort analysis, with data from the all Wales perinatal survey, of perinatal and infant deaths during 1993 of babies born to mothers usually resident in Wales. The clinicopathological classification of death based on clinical details was compared with the classification after necropsy. Similarly, cases in which necropsy yielded new information were identified. The quality of the necropsy was assessed by scoring six aspects of the examination. SUBJECTS: 400 consecutive deaths at 20 weeks of gestation to 1 year of age. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Necropsy rate, effect of necropsy on clinicopathological classification, new information disclosed by necropsy, quality of necropsies, and the link between new information and quality of the necropsy. RESULTS: Necropsy was performed in 232 cases (58%). The clinicopathological classification was altered by necropsy in 29 cases (13%). New information was obtained in 60 cases (26%), and in 42 (18%) it disclosed the cause of death. The quality of necropsy was substantially higher when the main cause of death was detected than when nothing new was found. CONCLUSION: Necropsy is underused. Clinicians should be more positive about necropsies and realise how much clinically relevant information can be obtained from a good quality examination.
P H Cartlidge; A T Dawson; J H Stewart; G M Vujanic
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  BMJ (Clinical research ed.)     Volume:  310     ISSN:  0959-8138     ISO Abbreviation:  BMJ     Publication Date:  1995 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1995-02-27     Completed Date:  1995-02-27     Revised Date:  2010-03-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8900488     Medline TA:  BMJ     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  155-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff.
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MeSH Terms
Autopsy / standards*,  statistics & numerical data
Cause of Death
Cohort Studies
Congenital Abnormalities / pathology
Evaluation Studies as Topic
Fetal Death / pathology
Infant Mortality
Infant, Newborn
Pathology, Clinical
Quality of Health Care
Comment In:
BMJ. 1995 Apr 1;310(6983):870   [PMID:  7711640 ]
BMJ. 1995 Jan 21;310(6973):141-2   [PMID:  7833738 ]
BMJ. 1995 Apr 1;310(6983):870   [PMID:  7772161 ]
BMJ. 1995 Apr 1;310(6983):870   [PMID:  7711638 ]
BMJ. 1995 Apr 1;310(6983):870   [PMID:  7711639 ]
BMJ. 1995 Apr 1;310(6983):870   [PMID:  7711637 ]

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