Skip to main content

Perinatal Deaths

Volume 400: debated on Tuesday 25 February 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many perinatal deaths there were in each of the last 10 years; what the most common causes of perinatal deaths are; what figures he has collated on the rate of perinatal deaths in the UK compared to European countries and the USA; and what he is doing to reduce the number of perinatal deaths. [99081]

The number and rate of perinatal deaths (stillbirths plus deaths at ages up to six completed days of life) in each of the last 10 years for England and Wales and also causes of perinatal deaths in 2001, are shown in the tables. Eurostat, the Statistical Office Of European Communities collates statistics across Europe (Eurostat: Key data on health 2000 (1999) pg 170). However, due to differences in the definition of stillbirths, perinatal mortality figures are not completely comparable between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, nor with the USA.As part of the work on the maternity module of the children's national service framework, the Post Birth and Baby Sub Group is developing national standards to ensure the safety and well being of the baby and will cover issues such as resuscitation, need for assessment, and the immediate needs of the new born. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence will also draw up clinical guidelines.In addition we are increasing the number of doctors and midwives to provide better support for women in established labour and thereby improve outcomes for both mother and child, and we have invested an additional £100 million in refurbishment and equipment for maternity suites.

Perinatal deaths England and Wales 1992–2001
NumberRate per 1,000 total births

⋆For data from 1993, the definition of a stillbirth changed from 28 weeks to 24 weeks gestation.

⋆⋆ Provisional

Perinatal deaths by ONS cause groups England and Wales 2001 (provisional)

ONS cause group⋆



All causes47408.0
Congenital anomalies8261.4
Antepartum infections530.1
Immaturity related conditions9761.6
Asphyxia, anoxia or trauma2600.4
External conditions120.0
Other specific conditions1910.3
Antepartum stillbirths23333.9
Sudden infant death10.0
Other conditions780.1
Total births597,694
⋆2001 data based on ONS cause groups developed in ICD10.


Office for National Statistics (ONS)