Section D: Autopsy data for deaths in 2015

  1. Autopsy data for deaths in 2014
  2. References

Autopsy data can provide essential information in the assignation of cause of death. We present data in this section on whether there was information in the notes of the infant relating to request and consent for a full post mortem examination. In order to gain an accurate understanding of the causes of death in the perinatal and neonatal period as well as instances of stillbirth, an increased awareness for the need for post mortem examination is necessary. Another report has published the following recommendations1.

  • The placenta should be examined histologically in all cases of stillbirth and in as many cases of neonatal death as is possible.
  • The benefits of a post mortem examination by a trained perinatal pathologist should be explained to all parents whose baby is either stillborn or a neonatal death.
  • Travel delays. Paediatric pathologists who serve the population of Wales are located in South East Wales. This may have an influence on parental consent for autopsy as the parent may envisage the process taking many days or weeks. A rapid turn around and efficient access to a paediatric pathologist will need to be secured to ensure the success of the process.

Autopsy data for perinatal deaths for mothers usually resident in Wales (excluding late terminations)

The autopsy data for liveborn (neonatal and post neonatal deaths) is affected by referral to the coroner, so will not be directly comparable to the data for stillbirths.

Data regarding whether or not consent for an autopsy was requested from parents was available in 95.9% of perinatal deaths. Of these cases:

  • Autopsy was requested by clinicians in 92.6% of cases.
  • Parents gave consent in 40.0% of these cases.
  • Parents did not give consent in 60.0% of these cases.

Autopsy data for stillbirths for mothers usually resident in Wales (excluding late terminations)

Data regarding whether or not consent for an autopsy was requested from parents was available in 99.3% of stillbirths. Of these cases:

  • Autopsy was requested by clinicians in 96.4% of cases.
    • Parents gave consent in 43.2% of these cases.
    • Parents did not give consent in 56.8% of these cases.

 Autopsy data for neonatal deaths for mothers usually resident in Wales (excluding late terminations)

Data regarding whether or not consent for an autopsy was requested from parents was available in 88.0% of all neonatal deaths. Of these cases:

  • Autopsy was requested by clinicians in 75.3% of cases.
    • Parents gave consent in 30.9% of these cases.
    • Parents did not give consent in 69.1% of these cases. 

Autopsy data for late terminations for mothers usually resident in Wales

Data regarding whether or not consent for an autopsy was requested from parents was available in 100% of all late terminations. Of these cases:

  • Autopsy was requested by clinicians in 100% of cases.
    • Parents gave consent in 41.7% of these cases.
    • Parents did not give consent in 58.3% of these cases.

Autopsy data for post neonatal deaths for mothers usually resident in Wales

This year we report post neonatal autopsy data for infants born in 2014. Data regarding whether or not consent for an autopsy was requested from parents was available in 62.1% of all post neonatal deaths. Of these cases:

  • Autopsy was requested by clinicians in 55.6% of cases.
    • Parents gave consent in 70.0% of these cases.
    • Parents did not give consent in 30.0% of these cases.

There were 6 limited autopsy performed which are included in the data reported for the post neonatal deaths in 2014 and the deaths in 2015.

References

1.         The Scottish Perinatal and Infant Mortality and Morbidity Report (SPIMMR). The Scottish Perinatal and Infant Mortality and Morbidity Report 2011 ‘Available at:’ http://www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/our_work/reproductive,_maternal__child/programme_resources/spimmr_2011.aspx. Accessed May 2013.