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Data Collection Overview

Australian Capital Territory Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Committee (ACT PMC)

Data Collection Sources

The ACT Confidential Report on Perinatal Death Forms, placental pathology, autopsy details, the ACT Admitted Patient Care Data Collection, the ACT and Australian Bureau of Statistics Deaths Data and the National Maternal Mortality Data Collection Form.

Institutional environments

Each hospital performs their own morbidity and mortality review of maternal and perinatal deaths. All maternal deaths occurring at the Canberra Hospital have forms completed by the data collector and the feto-maternal medicine obstetric representative of the ACT PMC. All perinatal deaths occurring at The Canberra Hospital have forms completed by the data collector and the Chairperson of the ACT PMC. For perinatal deaths occurring at the other ACT hospitals, the forms are completed by a midwifery representative or designated person and sent to the Chairperson of the ACT PMC. The committee meets twice yearly to review and classify all cases. A confidential form is completed on each perinatal death in the ACT and forwarded to the ACT PMC. An annual presentation is made to the ACT Health Quality and Safety Committee (ACTQ+S) of perinatal deaths and recommendations are implemented as required. As the ACT is a small territory, the ACT PMC has the ability to review all perinatal deaths within the ACT and classify them according to the PSANZ classification systems.

Relevance and Scope

The ACT PMC reviews perinatal deaths which are defined as a stillbirth or a neonatal death. Neonatal death is the death of a live born baby within 28 days of birth. Fetal death refers to death prior to the birth of a baby of 20 completed weeks gestation or at least 400 grams in birthweight who did not, at any time after birth, breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as a heartbeat. The collection includes perinatal deaths for babies where the birth occurred in the ACT. The ACT PMC reviews maternal deaths which are defined as per the national guidelines and provides this information for the national report on maternal mortality. Due to the very small numbers of maternal deaths these are reported as part of NSW maternal deaths to protect the privacy of the individuals and their families.


The most recent report, Perinatal Mortality in the ACT 2011-2015, was published in 2018 using data from 2011-2015. The time period between publication and the most recent year of data collected is approximately 3 years.
The data presented most recently in each report is over a five year period. Due to the small number of deaths, a five year report is felt to be the most appropriate timeframe to examine perinatal deaths in the ACT.


The sources of death data used to validate information on perinatal death are: ABS death data, Admitted Patient Collection (APC) data collection, post-mortem data, centre for newborn care database, the ACT Perinatal Data Collection, medical records if there are data inconsistencies, and Births and Death registration collections.


The most recent report, Perinatal Mortality in the ACT 2011-2015, is available in hard copy and online.

Request for data can be made to the Chair of ACT PMC. Formal research projects must conform to the National Health and Medical Research Council Guidelines, and be approved by the ACT Human Research Ethics Committee.


The ACT PMC classifies all perinatal deaths in the ACT using the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand - Perinatal Death Classification (PSANZ-PDC) and the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand - Neonatal Death Classification (PSANZ-NDC) (Appendix C of Perinatal Mortality in the ACT). The majority of members are active in the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ) Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Alliance (SANDA), which continues to refine these classifications and implement their use throughout Australia.
Definitions can be found within the report and in the glossary at the back of the report.

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