IMR Press / CEOG / Volume 48 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.ceog.2021.01.5466
Open Access Original Research
What do the numbers say? - Introduction of the WHO ICD-PM classification and fetuses-at risk approach in perinatal audit, South India
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1 Department of ObGyn, Kasturba medical college, 576104 Manipal, India
2 Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, M5S Toronto, Canada
3 Department of Pediatrics, Kasturba medical college, 576104 Manipal, India
*Correspondence: (Momina Zulfeen)
Clin. Exp. Obstet. Gynecol. 2021, 48(1), 144–150;
Submitted: 21 December 2019 | Revised: 16 August 2020 | Accepted: 20 August 2020 | Published: 15 February 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors. Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (

Objective: In India, despite a reduction in perinatal mortality rate from 2014 to 2019, still birth rate is still the same at the national average of 4/1000 live births. As yet there is no nation-wide audit in India except for facility based audits. Hence the need for a simplified yet effective audit process exists. The aim of this study was to perform a qualitative perinatal audit and devise methods for future audits. Methods: We conducted a one year audit for all perinatal deaths using WHO ICD PM and 3-delay classification. Gestational age (GA) specific mortality was calculated for significant underlying factors using fetuses-at risk approach. Results: We recorded a perinatal mortality rate of 6.1/1000 births among booked cases and 21.32/1000 births among referred cases. Fetal growth restriction was the most common antenatal condition, accounting to 33.3% of antepartum deaths. Prematurity accounted to 52% of neonatal deaths. Phase 2 delay with delayed referrals in severe pre-eclampsia and Phase 1 delay with late visit (> 24 h) to hospital after experiencing absent fetal movements were the most common identifiable delays. Hypertension stood out to be the single most common risk-factor. GA specific mortalities, calculated using fetuses-at risk approach, show a peak mortality rate at 30 weeks, 37 weeks and 38 weeks in pregnancies with early-onset preeclampsia, severe fetal growth restriction and medically treated gestational diabetes respectively. Conclusion: The audit identified significant contributing factors to the mortality. ICD-PM and 3-delay classification was simpler and easier to apply with wide areas of opportunities for secondary analysis.

Perinatal mortality
Clinical audit
Maternal health services
Fig. 1.
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