Optimising the International Classification of Diseases to identify the maternal condition in the case of perinatal death

E.R. Allanson, Ö. Tunçalp, J. Gardosi, R.C. Pattinson, A. Francis, J.P. Vogel, J.J.H.M. Erwich, V.J. Flenady, J.F. Frøen, J. Neilson, A. Quach, D. Chou, M. Mathai, L. Say, A.M. Gülmezoglu

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The WHO application of the tenth edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) to deaths during the perinatal period (ICD Perinatal Mortality, ICD-PM) captures the essential characteristics of the mother–baby dyad that contribute to perinatal deaths. We compare the capture of maternal conditions in the existing ICD-PM with the maternal codes from the WHO application of ICD-10 to deaths during pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium (ICD Maternal Mortality, ICD-MM) to explore potential benefits in the quality of data received. Design: Retrospective application of ICD-PM. Setting: South Africa and the UK. Population: Perinatal death databases. Methods: The maternal conditions were classified using the ICD-PM groupings for maternal condition in perinatal death, and then mapped to the ICD-MM groupings of maternal conditions. Main outcome measures: Main maternal conditions in perinatal deaths. Results: We reviewed 9661 perinatal deaths. The largest group (4766 cases, 49.3%) in both classifications captures deaths where there was no contributing maternal condition. Each of the other ICD-PM groups map to between three and six ICD-MM groups. If the cases in each ICD-PM group are re-coded using ICD-MM, each group becomes multiple, more specific groups. For example, the 712 cases in group M4 in ICD-PM become 14 different and more specific main disease categories when the ICD-MM is applied instead. Conclusions: As we move towards ICD-11, the use of the more specific, applicable, and relevant codes outlined in ICD-MM for both maternal deaths and the maternal condition at the time of a perinatal death would be preferable, and would provide important additional information about perinatal deaths. Tweetable abstract: Improving the capture of maternal conditions in perinatal deaths provides important actionable information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2037-2046
Number of pages10
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Classification
  • global
  • ICD
  • maternal conditions
  • perinatal death
  • stillbirth

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