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Data Collection Overview

Victorian Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (VIC PMC)

Data Collection Sources

Data sources include the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM); Confidential Medical Report (CMR) on Perinatal Death; Medical Certificate of Cause of Perinatal Death (MCCPD), autopsy reports; State Coroner’s Office; Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM), Ambulance Victoria,  and the Newborn Emergency Transport Service (NETS). Cases are submitted using either a neonatal or stillbirth death template to accompany relevant discharge summaries and clinical reports from the hospital.

Institutional environments

The VIC PMC is conducted by the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM) is administered by the Clinical Councils Unit, Health Services Performance and Programs Division within the Department of Health and Human Services. CCOPMM was established under section 162 of the Heath Act 1958 and continues to have legislative status as a Consultative Council under sections 33-48 of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. A legislated function of CCOPMM is to conduct study, research and analysis into the incidence and causes of maternal deaths, stillbirths and the deaths of children.

The CCOPMM receives information from BDM for all perinatal deaths. Medical Practitioners provide confidential medical reports on perinatal deaths and additional information on maternal, perinatal and paediatric deaths. The autopsies undertaken by anatomical and forensic pathologists are used in the comprehensive consideration of these deaths. The State Coroner’s Office and personnel from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, provide information to the CCOPMM on cases investigated by the Coroners in Victoria, and this linkage is formalised in the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. The Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) service provides additional information on infants transferred to and from tertiary neonatal centres.

Relevance and Scope

CCOPMM reviews and classifies perinatal deaths which are defined as: a neonatal death or a stillbirth. A Neonatal death is defined as the death of a live born child within 28 days after the birth. A stillbirth is defined as the birth of a child of at least 20 weeks gestation or, if it cannot be readily established whether the period of gestation is more or less than 20 weeks, with a body mass of at least 400 grams at birth, that exhibits no sign of respiration or heartbeat, or other sign of life, after birth. Perinatal data refers only to deaths of infants born in Victoria. CCOPMM compiles a case file on each perinatal death and the case material is considered by the Chair of the Council, a consultant obstetrician and the paediatric epidemiologist, with selected cases referred to speciality sub-committees of CCOPMM., if preventable factors are suspected (for example term perinatal death from intrapartum asphyxia) or if other specific concerns are identified. Deaths considered likely to be unavoidable (for example lethal congenital abnormalities or death following spontaneous birth of extremely preterm infants) are not usually referred to the sub‑committees. All cases are reviewed, classified and coded according to the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Perinatal Mortality


Under section 38e of the Public and Wellbeing Act 2008, CCOPMM is required to publish an annual report. The combined 2012 and 2013 report is available on-line and contains comprehensive information on Victorian perinatal, maternal, child and adolescent mortality and morbidity.


As part of the ongoing data quality cycle, the Clinical Councils Unit undertakes output analysis of the data and queries anomalous data with the submitting site. Submitted data to the VIC PDC may have been updated as a result of the edit components in the submission process.
Where possible, VIC PDC data elements align with the National Health Data Dictionary, Version 14.



CCOPMM provides data, however careful consideration is given to assure that the privacy of individuals is protected and that release of data complies with the requirements of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.
Formal research proposals must conform to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Humans 2007. Before any research project can access CCOPMM data, a properly constituted Human Research Ethics Committee must approve the research and a formal application must be received and approved by the CCOPMM.
requests for data can be made by accessing the CCOPMM website.

The reports are publicly available on the CCOPMM website:
CCOPMM Annual Report for the Year – now includes Births in Victoria (includes some maternal morbidity) since 2009, and incorporates the survey of Perinatal Deaths in Victoria (includes maternal death).


All perinatal deaths are considered, classified and coded according to Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) classifications. The classifications used are documented in the report and are publicly available. Definitions are available in Appendix A of the Annual Report for the year.

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