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J Paediatr Child Health. 2004 Jul;40(7):340-7.

Classification of perinatal deaths: development of the Australian and New Zealand classifications.

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Pregnancy Outcome Unit, South Australian Department of Human Services, Adelaide, South Australia.


Classifications of perinatal deaths have been undertaken for surveillance of causes of death, but also for auditing individual deaths to identify suboptimal care at any level, so that preventive strategies may be implemented. This paper describes the history and development of the paired obstetric and neonatal Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) classifications in the context of other classifications. The PSANZ Perinatal Death Classification is based on obstetric antecedent factors that initiated the sequence of events leading to the death, and was developed largely from the Aberdeen and Whitfield classifications. The PSANZ Neonatal Death Classification is based on fetal and neonatal factors associated with the death. The classifications, accessible on the PSANZ website (, have definitions and guidelines for use, a high level of agreement between classifiers, and are now being used in nearly all Australian states and New Zealand.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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