Notification of perinatal and infant deaths

The Chief Health Officer must be notified whenever any child:

  • of more than 20 weeks gestation is stillborn, or
  • under the age of 1 year dies from any cause whatsoever.

The procedures for reporting terminations of pregnancy (induced abortions) are outlined in another section.

Midwives responsibilities in relation to the notification of the outcomes of birth events, including stillbirths, are outlined in midwife notification of birth events and cases attended.

Relevant legislation

The statutory requirement to notify perinatal and infant mortality is specified in Sections 335 5(a) and (c), and 336A of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 (external site) (Part XIII).

Responsibility for notification

The medical practitioner who certified the cause of the child’s death.

Who must be notified

Under the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911, the Chief Health Officer must be notified.

How to notify

Notification may be made by email, telephone, fax or mail (contact details below).

Provide the following information as soon as possible, preferably within 48 hours:

  • name of Mother
  • date of Birth of mother
  • UMRN of mother (if known)
  • name of infant
  • date of birth of infant
  • place of birth of Infant
  • date of birth of infant
  • place of death of infant, and
  • contact details of reporting practitioner.

The Medical Certificate of Cause of Stillbirth or Neonatal Death or the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death, should also be provided if available.

Contact

To make a notification contact:

Chief Health Officer
Office of the Chief Health Officer
Phone: 9222 2295
Fax: 9222 2322
Email: edphwa@health.wa.gov.au
Postal address:
Office of the Chief Health Officer
Department of Health
PO Box 8172
Perth Business Centre WA 6849

For data on perinatal or infant deaths, contact the Principal Consultant at the Statutory Mortality Committees, Department of Health on 9222 4262.

Purpose of notifications

The Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1911 (Part XIIIB) provides the legal basis for the constitution of the Perinatal and Infant Mortality Committee (PIMC) as a statutory requirement under the direction of the Chief Health Officer. The primary purpose of the Committee is educational.

The Perinatal and Infant Mortality Committee meets monthly to examine the causes of perinatal and infant mortality for all deliveries in the WA population. The Committee also uses all notifications entered into the perinatal and infant mortality database to monitor the number of deaths and inform clinical practice and public health strategies.

The 15th Report of the Perinatal and Infant Mortality Committee of Western Australia, for births between 2011 and 2013 (PDF 2.2MB) is available.

Produced by

Public Health