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Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2007 Jan;92(1):F49-50. Epub 2006 Apr 4.

Perinatal and infant autopsy.

Author information

  • 1Department of Child Health, Cardiff University, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK. roshanadappa@aol.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To measure perinatal and infant autopsy rate in Wales over a 10-year period and study factors influencing the decision to perform an autopsy.

DESIGN:

Retrospective cohort analysis of data from the All Wales Perinatal Survey.

METHODS:

Autopsy rates were calculated over a 10-year period (1994-2003), and reasons for not performing an autopsy were noted. Two time periods, 1994-1996 and 2001-2003 were compared, to study changing autopsy patterns.

RESULTS:

Over the 10-year period, there were 4393 perinatal and infant deaths, with data available for 4306 (98%) cases. Consent for autopsy was requested in 89% of cases and granted in 68%. When compared, the 3-year cumulative autopsy rate fell from 67.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 65% to 69%) in 1994-1996, to 52.7% (CI 49% to 55%) in 2001-2003. The difference in the proportion of autopsies performed between the two time periods was 14.8% (CI 11% to 18%). Parental consent was granted in 76.2% (CI 73% to 78%) of cases in 1994-1996 and 60% (CI 57% to 63%) of cases in 2001-2003. The difference in proportion in consent for autopsy in the two time periods was 16% (CI 12% to 20%).

CONCLUSIONS:

A decrease in perinatal and infant autopsy rates has been found in Wales over the past 10 years. Parental refusal has been the main cause of this decline.

PMID:
16595589
PMCID:
PMC2675313
DOI:
10.1136/adc.2005.091447
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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