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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Jun;137(6):775-81. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2011-0560-SA.

Perinatal pathology: practice suggestions for limited-resource settings.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA. djroberts@partners.org

Abstract

The practice of perinatal pathology in much of the world suffers, as do all subspecialties of anatomic pathology, from inadequate resources (equipment, consumables, and both professional and technical personnel), from lack of education (not only of the pathologist but also of the clinicians responsible for sending the specimens, and the technicians processing the specimens), and from lack of appropriate government sector support. Perinatal pathology has significant public health-related utility and should be championing its service by providing maternal and fetal/infant mortality and morbidity data to governmental health ministries. It is with this pathologic data that informed decisions can be made on health-related courses of action and allocation of resources. These perinatal pathology data are needed to develop appropriate public health initiatives, specifically toward achieving the Millennium Developmental Goals as the best way to effectively decrease infant and maternal deaths and to determine causes of perinatal mortality and morbidity. The following overview will focus on the utility of perinatal pathology specifically as related to its public health function and will suggest methods to improve its service in resource-poor settings. This article is offered not as a critique of the current practice that most pathologists find themselves working in globally, but to provide suggestions for improving perinatal pathology services, which could be implemented with the limited available resources and manpower most pathology departments currently have. In addition, we offer suggestions for graded improvements ("ramping up") over time.

PMID:
23721272
DOI:
10.5858/arpa.2011-0560-SA
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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